Bellator Champ Ilima-Lei MacFarlane Suing Former Basketball Coach for Sexual Abuse

Bellator MMA flyweight champion & 10th planet brown belt Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and sister are Mahina are accusing their former basketball coach of sexually abusing them back in 2003.

A lawsuit is underway in Honolulu, Hawaii against Dwayne Yuen, the former coach. Macfarlane said that the abuse started when she was 12 and her sister was 14.

“He definitely groomed us,” said Macfarlane to Hawaiinewsnow.com.

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

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

She said that’s the reason she decided to pursue wrestling instead and eventually started training BJJ and MMA.

They allege that Yuen later forced them to touch his genitals, offered cash for sex acts and sent explicit photos of himself.

Macfarlane released the following statement on her IG:

“Even though I’ve been a strong voice for other wahine toa—creating my scholarship for native girls, teaching self-defense to them, leading healing retreats for women—I never really shared my own story. To be honest, I was in denial and didn’t want to admit that it affected me as much as it did. I have to be strong. I’m a professional fighter. I can’t show any vulnerability. I can’t give him the satisfaction of knowing how much he infiltrated my thoughts, relationships and life even 15 years later. But here we are. The time is now.

And for all the trolls saying, “wHy DiD u wAiT s0 l0nG?!” Idiots. We didn’t “wait”. My sister reported him to the school right when it happened and they swept it under the rug. Punahou knew I was a victim and witness to my own sister’s abuse and didn’t even bother to check on me. As a result we were retaliated against by him and the basketball program and had to see him everyday, still allowed on campus around minors. My sister and I tried our best to move on with our lives until it resurfaced in 2018 when more victims came forward. Punahou claimed they were doing an internal investigation but again, didn’t contact me and refused to share the results of the “investigation” with my sister. Disgustingly, we found out that he’s STILL coaching and teaching minor girls. So here we are now, 15 years later seeking justice together. He can’t get away with this anymore. Dwayne Yuen, YOUR TIME IS UP.

P.S. I chose this picture not only for the solidarity that my family and I have together through this process, but to show you how old me and Mahina were when the sexual grooming and abuse started. I was in 6th grade and she (far right) was a freshman.”

Macfarlane is the Bellator champion with an 11-0 professional MMA record and four consecutive title defenses.

Earlier this month BJJ world champion Claudia Doval accused her former BJJ instructor Ricardo De La Riva of sexually abusing her:

View this post on Instagram

Even though I’ve been a strong voice for other wahine toa—creating my scholarship for native girls, teaching self-defense to them, leading healing retreats for women—I never really shared my own story. To be honest, I was in denial and didn’t want to admit that it affected me as much as it did. I have to be strong. I’m a professional fighter. I can’t show any vulnerability. I can’t give him the satisfaction of knowing how much he infiltrated my thoughts, relationships and life even 15 years later. But here we are. The time is now. And for all the trolls saying, “wHy DiD u wAiT s0 l0nG?!” Idiots. We didn’t “wait”. My sister reported him to the school right when it happened and they swept it under the rug. Punahou knew I was a victim and witness to my own sister’s abuse and didn’t even bother to check on me. As a result we were retaliated against by him and the basketball program and had to see him everyday, still allowed on campus around minors. My sister and I tried our best to move on with our lives until it resurfaced in 2018 when more victims came forward. Punahou claimed they were doing an internal investigation but again, didn’t contact me and refused to share the results of the “investigation” with my sister. Disgustingly, we found out that he’s STILL coaching and teaching minor girls. So here we are now, 15 years later seeking justice together. He can’t get away with this anymore. Dwayne Yuen, YOUR TIME IS UP. P.S. I chose this picture not only for the solidarity that my family and I have together through this process, but to show you how old me and Mahina were when the sexual grooming and abuse started. I was in 6th grade and she (far right) was a freshman.

A post shared by Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (@ilimanator) on Apr 23, 2020 at 3:14pm PDT

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