Talks to resume in ex-pastor's sex-abuse case
By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Curtis Lum
Attorneys are expected to return to court today in an effort to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit against the former pastor of a Lahaina church.
The lawsuit was filed in May 2003 by Eugene Saulibio against the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III, Catholic social worker Sister Claudia Wong and The Fathers of The Sacred Hearts. The suit alleges that Bukoski sexually assaulted Saulibio in 1976 when the then-15-year-old was a student at Saint Louis School and Bukoski was a priest at The Fathers of the Sacred Hearts in Kane'ohe.
Jury selection was set to begin yesterday morning in Circuit Judge Bert Ayabe's courtroom. But prospective jurors were sent home and the lawyers for the parties spent most of the day negotiating in Ayabe's chambers.
At about 4:30 p.m., the attorneys left, but said they would return at 9:30 this morning to resume talks. They declined further comment.
Saulibio is represented by Mark Bernstein and Margery Bronster. Bukoski's lawyer is Seth Reiss. Paul Schraff is the lawyer for The Fathers of the Sacred Hearts.
In his lawsuit, Saulibio alleged that Bukoski gave him alcohol and drugs and then sexally assaulted him. Saulibio accused The Fathers of The Sacred Hearts and Wong of conspiring to protect the Catholic church and Bukoski by disregarding knowledge of the priest's sexually inappropriate behavior and continuing to employ him.
Saulibio is seeking an undetermined amount in damages.
Bukoski was the pastor of Maria Lanakila Church in Lahaina when the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. In May 2002, Bukoski was removed as pastor and an appeal to Rome was denied a few months later.
Reach Curtis Lum at firstname.lastname@example.org.