Rape victim sues county, DOE

KEALAKEKUA — The victim of a violent 2016 rape that occurred in a Kailua-Kona park has taken civil action against her alleged attackers, their parents, the Department of Education and Hawaii County.

The lawsuit indicates the parents of Tyron Sigrah and Samuel Latrik should have known their sons were “troubled.” The parents should have known or reasonably known about their sons’ mental health issues, anti-social behaviors as well as their social media posts and their “fascination with violence towards women and others.”

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The complaint, filed in August in 3rd Circuit Court, indicates the teens “exhibited anti-social behaviors, delinquent behaviors, dangerous propensities, and mental health warning signs at home and at school.”

Multiple counts have been listed in the complaint against the defendants. The counts against the teens are assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Other counts shared by defendants are negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The Department of Education has been the only defendant to respond to the complaint. On Sept. 24, the department filed a motion to dismiss the counts of negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress against them. Their motion was continued and will be heard Jan. 14, 2019.

The victim is seeking $100,000 in compensatory damages overall, in addition to $100,000 in punitive damages from Sigrah and Latrik and their parents.

The lawsuit stems from a reported assault that occurred in Old Kona Airport Park on Sept. 3, 2016. Sigrah, 15 at the time, and Latrik, 17 at the time, were eventually charged as adults for first-degree sexual assault, among other offenses.

The victim suffered a broken nose, bruised ribs, lacerations, bruising, a concussion and injuries to neck back and head as a result of the attack, according to the complaint. Since the incident, the woman continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociative symptoms, loss of enjoyment of life, grief and despair.

According to the complaint, she has been unable to maintain employment and suffers from persistent systemic pain.

Sigrah, 18, was arrested in November 2017 in connection to the assault and pleaded guilty in September to first-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault and second-degree robbery.

He was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. The Hawaii Paroling Authority has six months from the teen’s sentencing to set his minimum sentence.

Latrik, 19, was indicted in January, and his jury trial is scheduled to begin next week.

Since the teens were students at Kealakehe High School at the time of the reported assault, the victim included the Department of Education on the complaint.

The lawsuit states the Department of Education, Hawaii School District is tasked with a “duty to identify and provide educational and mental health intervention/referral services as needed by students attending public schools.”

“Upon information and belief, the Hawaii Department of Education, Hawaii School District knew or reasonably should have known about Tyron Sigrah’s and Samuel Latrik’s mental health issues, their anti-social behaviors, and their fascination with violence towards women and others,” the complaint states.

The DOE filed for a dismissal. According to the department’s motion to dismiss, the complaint failed to name a proper state entity that is capable of being sued.

“There is neither a special relationship between the state and the plaintiff nor between the state and defendants Latrik and Sigrah sufficient to impose a duty upon the state to protect the plaintiff from the conduct alleged in this complaint,” the DOE motion states.

Court documents indicate Hawaii County is the only defendant that has not returned an acknowledgment of service. On Friday, Corporation Counsel for the county said they were unaware of the lawsuit and had not received it.

According to the court document, the county is tasked with the duty of operating and maintaining the Old Kona Airport Park in a reasonably safe condition.

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“This duty is owed to all members of the public,” the complaint states. “Upon information and belief, the defendant was on notice of dangerous conditions on the premises but failed to take reasonable precautions to make it safe and failed to warn the public of the dangerous conditions.”

The victim’s name is filed publicly with the court documents, however, it is not West Hawaii Today’s policy to release the name of a sexual assault victim without their permission.

  1. antifaHI November 25, 2018 12:27 am

    Right on, costing money is the only pain our society and institutions seem to react to.


  2. Contrarian November 25, 2018 7:55 am

    There are too many lawyers in this country. While it is sad what happened to the victim, trying to sue someone because they should have been mind readers is just dumb. What should the family members or school have done? Locked these kids up for ever before they committed a crime? Given them some counseling?


    1. Sara Steiner-jackson November 25, 2018 8:21 am

      ParentsAreLegallyResponsibleForTheirKidsBehaviorUntilKidsAreEighteen.SorryMySpaceBarIsBust….


      1. Buds4All November 25, 2018 6:24 pm

        Ask your parents for a new keyboard or computer for XMAS.


  3. Uncle Kokomo November 25, 2018 9:36 am

    Sad story but it is a hard (probably impossible) case to make that the DOE is responsible for damages. Waste of time lawsuit


  4. Ernest T Bass November 25, 2018 11:24 am

    100,000?….If you want Hawaii to listen as it should……5 MILLION for a innocent woman’s destroyed life is much more appropriate.


    1. Buds4All November 25, 2018 6:22 pm

      Seems low??


    2. personwhoreadssometimes December 7, 2018 4:26 pm

      How is this Hawaii’s fault? What should DOE have done? The assault happened on a Saturday night off school property. We don’t live in a police state *yet* and schools can’t just lock kids up for crimes they might commit in the future.


  5. Scooby November 25, 2018 1:16 pm

    Now can’t be that bad, Judge Kim let him out three times! If the judge thinks he’s no threat to society why would the DOE be responsible?


  6. laakoc November 25, 2018 7:54 pm

    Good – I hope the lawsuit wins against the parents (you can’t hold DOE responsible as their hands are tied when it comes to disciplining students) as reported in the past, they seem to be enabling their son as he has repeatedly broken guidelines set forth by the judge/court.


  7. Michael November 26, 2018 9:16 am

    there is far too much crime committed by the youth of these communities. A fair amount of them come here and basically live off the state and don’t bother to get jobs and pay taxes. The ones that get jobs should get to stay and the ones that don’t or get into trouble should be put on a boat back to their home country.


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