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  Victim of Priest Abuse Is Charged with Rape
An Aiea Man Being Held on Kauai Had Recently Settled for Money and an Apology

By Tom Finnegan
Honolulu Star Bulletin
November 30, 2005

Lihue — A Hawaii man who recently received an apology and court settlement from a Catholic priest who molested him 29 years ago was arrested and charged yesterday with raping a girl nine years ago.

Eugene Saulibio, a 44-year-old father of three, was arrested by Kauai detectives at his Aiea home and charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault. If convicted, each felony count carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

On Nov. 8, in a highly publicized court settlement of Saulibio's civil lawsuit, the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III and his order, the Fathers of Sacred Hearts, apologized for Bukoski's sexual abuse of Saulibio in 1976.

According to Kauai police, the charges against Saulibio stem from assaults in 1996, when the then-14-year-old girl was on vacation and staying in Saulibio's former Kauai home. She was friends with one of Saulibio's relatives, and was assaulted while staying there, police said.

The accuser, who has not been identified, has been cooperating with detectives on Kauai and in Hillsboro, Ore., for the past few months, police said.

As for why it took so long for her to come forward, KPD Lt. Roy Asher said, "She was afraid to report it, but now she's an adult."

ACCORDING TO Kauai prosecuting attorney Craig De Costa, the statute of limitations is usually six years on this type of sexual assault case. But when the victim is a minor, De Costa said, the timetable changes. In this case, he said, the statute of limitations on when the defendant cannot be charged is six years after the victim turns 18, or about a year from now.

In the settlement three weeks ago, the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts agreed to pay Saulibio an undisclosed amount in damages and Bukoski was required to give Saulibio a portion of his monthly stipend for the next 10 years.

As part of Bukoski's apology, the Kauai-born priest admitted that he sexually abused the then-15-year-old Saulibio at a Kaneohe summer school.

SAULIBIO'S LAWSUIT against Bukoski and the Fathers of Sacred Hearts also claimed he developed emotional and psychological problems because of the assault. Bukoski was not yet a Catholic priest at the time of the sexual abuse but had taken religious vows as a Sacred Hearts brother.

Despite his admission, Bukoski remains a priest but is no longer allowed to work with children.

"I'm relieved the truth is now out," Saulibio, the father of three small children, said after the settlement was announced. "He caused a lot of harm to me and my family."

KPD's Asher said that recent publicity on Saulibio's settlement with Bukoski had no bearing on the case.

"We initiated our investigation before (Saulibio) surfaced" on the news earlier this month, he said.

Saulibio is being held in a KPD cell block in lieu of $80,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

 
 

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