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Bellator
MMA
flyweight champ Ilima-Lei
Macfarlane
is going public with accusations that her former
coach sexually abused her and other students when she was
young.


HawaiiNewsNow
first reported this on Thursday morning,
reporting that the lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Macfarlane,
her sister and an unnamed student. The lawsuit alleges that her
former coach, Dwayne Yuen, sexually abused her when she was on the
Punahou basketball team.

“I had an inappropriate relationship with an adult who was in an
authoritative position and a position of power, as a 12-year-old,”
she said, “and that has 100-percent affected what I think is a
healthy relationship.”

The allegations include multiple instances of the coach forcing the
children to touch his genitals, paying them for sexual acts and
also sending lewd photos of himself to them. The third unnamed
student further claimed that he also threatened her via text and
phone message, and included the transcripts of some messages in the
lawsuit.

Yuen worked for the Punahou basketball program from 2003 to 2006,
and in 2003 is when Macfarlane says the abuse began. In addition to
the trauma caused by the abuse, she also moved on from the sport to
wrestling, which led later to a transition to MMA.

“I ended up losing my love for basketball, which was crazy,” she
explained. “That’s what I wanted to do as a career. I wanted to
play professional basketball in the WNBA.”

While Yuen has not yet put out a statement or responded to his
claims, he has requested that those seeking information contact his
attorney. The school did respond, however, and the officials
expressed their support for Macfarlane.

“In no uncertain terms, Punahou stands with survivors of sexual
abuse everywhere, and we respect the courage to it takes to report
these incidents,” the school wrote in a statement. “The reports
allege abuse from 2004-2005 by Dwayne Yuen, a former girls
basketball coach at our school. We are currently investigating
these reports and are committed to working with the survivors to
find resolution and healing.”

In furtherance of this message, the school claims they have
reported the allegations to the local police as well as opening an
internal investigation into the matters. Macfarlane and her sister
are not thrilled by this prospect, as they explained in the lawsuit
that they reported this incident over 15 years ago, and the school
did not offer them the “help and protection” that they
demanded.

Unbeaten as a professional in 11 outings, Macfarlane last defended
her flyweight throne against Kate
Jackson
at Bellator 236 in December. Her bout with Jackson
marked the first time she had fought 25 full minutes, with her
previous five victories all coming by stoppage. Macfarlane
holds a slew of records
among female Bellator fighters,
including: most fights, most wins, longest win streak, most title
defenses as well as the most victories in championship affairs.


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