Alleged rape changed
daughter, dad testifies

By Debra Barayuga

The father of a Wahiawa teenage girl who accused a former teacher of sexually assaulting her testified yesterday that his daughter began acting "not herself" in mid-2001.

As her year-round soccer coach, he spent a lot of time with her during the week for practice, and games on the weekend. He said they shared a good father-daughter relationship, but that changed after May 27, 2001.

Five months later, his daughter told her mother that she was sexually assaulted on Memorial Day weekend by her Wahiawa Middle School social studies teacher, Gabriel Kealoha, in his classroom, the father testified.

Kealoha is on trial in Circuit Court on three counts each of second- and fourth-degree sexual assault, each of which carries a maximum 10-year term.

His attorney, Victor Bakke, says the assault never occurred. The defense contends that the girl, who was 14 at the time of the alleged assault, is a chronic liar who concocted the story to get her parents' attention and so she could transfer to a school that her best friend attended.

The father testified yesterday that his daughter began withdrawing and was not interacting with the rest of the family anymore, preferring to stay in her room.

She also began writing "hate letters" -- with much of her anger directed at her mother -- and leaving them around the house for her parents to find, he testified.

"We had a good relationship, so she couldn't hide that stuff from me," he said.

But it was not until late one night in October 2001 that the girl told her mother of the alleged assault, he testified.

"She pretty much punched out the wall," he said of his wife's reaction.

He said that the next morning, they brought their daughter to the main Honolulu police station to report the assault.

After she had told them, his daughter's behavior changed, he testified.

"She called her mom 'Mom' again," he said.

"I was relieved. I could just see it, the change," he said. "She had a bunch of weight lifted off her shoulder. The love was back in the house."

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