KEALAKEKUA — A circuit court judge on Monday agreed to postpone a hearing on dismissing the state Department of Education from a civil suit related to a 2016 sexual assault at Old Kona Airport Park.
Lawyers for the department and plaintiff, who is the victim of that assault, said they both agreed to continue the motion to dismiss the DOE from the lawsuit, which also names the County of Hawaii, the teenagers convicted in the criminal case — Tyron Sigrah and Samuel Latrik — and their parents as defendants.
DOE is the only one of the defendants listed that has responded and filed a motion in the civil complaint.
The county has not drafted a response because they haven’t been served with the complaint, the Office of the Corporation Counsel for Hawaii County on Wednesday.
Attempts to reach the parents of Sigrah and Latrik for comment on the lawsuit were unsuccessful.
On Monday, Ben Summit, counsel for the plaintiff, and Marie Gavigan counsel for the state Department of Education, agreed to the continuance for two to three months in an effort to reduce emotional impact on his client as there are other hearings related to the criminal case still occurring. The hearing is set for April 8.
The lawsuit stems from an assault that occurred on a soccer field at Old Kona Airport on Sept 2, 2016. Sigrah, 15 at the time, and Latrik, 17 at the time, were charged and pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual assault against the woman, who was 26 at the time.
Sigrah 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 in mid-September. The Hawaii Paroling Authority has six months from the teen’s sentencing to set his minimum sentence.
Latrik was indicted in January 2018, and he pleaded guilty as charged mid trial to first-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault, kidnapping, third-degree sexual assault and third-degree attempted sexual assault in November. The teen also pleaded no contest to terroristic threatening, first-degree sexual assault and robbery.
Latrik is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 4.
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.
In August 2018, she filed the civil lawsuit in the 3rd Circuit Court against Sigrah and Latrik, the teenagers’ parents, the County of Hawaii and the Department of Education.
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.” Sigrah and Latrik were students at Kealakehe High School at the time of the assault.
The complaint also says the woman has been unable to maintain employment and suffers from persistent systemic pain.