by Andrew Walden
Thanks to 3rd Circuit Court Judge Robert DS Kim, another Child Welfare Services nightmare story will soon emerge from the shadows of closed Family Court ‘Ghost Cases’ and into the light of open Circuit Court proceedings.
An October, 2019, sex-assault lawsuit against Hawaii DHS dismissed in July, 2020, ‘for want of prosecution’ has been reinstated by a September 28, 2021, order of Judge Kim.
The suit alleges a Child Welfare Services social worker knowingly placed a 13-year-old girl, identified only as ‘TG’, into the same Kailua-Kona foster home where her older sister had previously been sexually assaulted.
The girl then allegedly endured several months of sexual assault at the hands of two different adult male alleged perpetrators who were living in the house.
Both have criminal records.
Here are some key excerpts from the suit:
… Plaintiff was placed in foster care by Defendant DHS on or about July 31, 2017 ….
23. Prior to Plaintiff’s placement with Defendant G. Holmes, Plaintiff met with her assigned Child Welfare Services case worker, Defendant Perez, at Starbucks in Waimea, Hawai‘i.
24. Plaintiff’s older sister was also present at this meeting.
25. During this meeting, Plaintiff’s sister disclosed that, while she was a minor, she was sexually abused by Defendant Puaoi-Marcellino.
26. Defendant Puaoi-Marcellino is a family friend and frequent visitor to the home of Defendant G. Holmes, and has been known to stay at the residence.
27. Kerry Perez overheard this disclosure and responded, “Don’t tell her [Plaintiff] that otherwise she won’t go there [G. Holmes’ residence].”
28. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff was placed in the foster home of Defendant G. Holmes, who was approved by Defendant DHS to be a foster parent.
29. Defendant Puaoi-Marcellino would often visit the home of Defendant G. Holmes unannounced and had open access to the home.
30. Defendant Puaoi-Marcellino lived at the residence of Defendant G. Holmes from approximately October 2017 to February 2018.
31. Within two months of Plaintiff’s foster placement with Defendant G. Holmes, Defendant Puaoi-Marcellino showed a sexual interest in Plaintiff, who, at the time, was thirteen (13) years old….
The suit then graphically details multiple allegations of sexual assault on the alleged 13 year old victim in 2017 and 2018. And, “after being repeatedly sexually assaulted, Plaintiff suffered from suicidal ideations and depression.”
The Attorney General’s office tried and failed to block the suit from being reinstated complaining, “Defendant Kerry Perez, a former employee of the Department of Human Services, has left the employ of the Department and has relocated to the Mainland.”
In January, 2020, three months after the original suit was filed, defendant Tye Puaoi-Marcellino was charged with felony family abuse in a separate Hawaii Family Court case. On March 4, 2020, he was sentenced to 48 hours confinement and two years probation.
PDF: Revised Complaint
PDF: Wayne Holmes Criminal Transcript
PDF: Tye Puaoi-Marcellino Criminal Transcript
WHT 2019: Suit: Minor sexually assaulted in foster care
HNN 2019: Former foster child files suit against CPS, alleging repeated sexual abuse
VIDEO 2019: If This Child Was Yours (Law Across the Sea)
Foster Care Insurance Policy Written to Keep CWS Secrets
Foster Children in Hawaii and Their Right to Counsel