Victim of alleged sex assault reveals his identity

As a civil lawsuit alleging a Waimea businessman sexually abused a 12-year-old boy decades ago nears trial, the victim in the case is revealing his identity.

A court filing earlier this week relinquished the fictitious identity of the man who alleges in the 2018 civil suit sexual abuse by David McCollough, owner and operator of RT’s Service and Tow Guys, sometime between 1997 and 1998.

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“The plaintiff … has revealed his identity as Trel Mangarin, formerly of Waimea,” a statement prepared by Mangarin’s attorney Kris A. LaGuire reads. “Mangarin, who grew up in Waimea and is now 34 years old, has voluntarily relinquished the previously-Court approved confidentiality of his identity that was imposed at the outset of the case.”

“Mangarin wants the community to know his true identity as the victim of McCollough’s abuse, and by doing so, he hopes to support and empower other victims of child sexual abuse to speak out against their abusers,” the statement continued.

According to the civil lawsuit filed in September 2018, the incidents occurred in Waimea sometime between 1997 and 1998 when the now-identified Mangarin was 12 years old and in sixth grade.

Court documents state the boy had visited the defendant’s home on several occasions, including overnight visits.

“McCollough is the step father of one of Mangarin’s childhood friends and was an assistant coach on their youth soccer team at the time of the incidents,” the statement reads, noting that the abuse is alleged to have occurred on several occasions when Mangarin, then a sixth-grader, stayed at the man’s home.

According to filings, the plaintiff developed various coping mechanisms and symptoms of psychological disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, repression and disassociation.

The case is being pursued in the civil realm because the abuse occurred 20 years ago. Hawaii law permits civil action in sexual abuse cases so long as a certificate of merit is filed with the court.

The plaintiff is seeking damages on three counts: gross negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages.

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Attorney Bruce Voss, who is representing McCollough in the civil matter, declined comment Friday. He instead referred West Hawaii Today to a statement made shortly after the complaint was filed in 2018 in Kona Circuit Court in which he stated on his client’s behalf that the “allegations in the complaint are wholly false, and it is disappointing that the plaintiff, having decided to pursue this case anonymously, is now seeking publicity through the media.”

Jury trial is set to commence March 24 with jury selection getting underway on March 17 in Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim’s courtroom.

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