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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Hawaii

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Oahu Schoolteacher Detained on Charge of Sexually Exploiting Minor Student

HONOLULU – United States Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield yesterday ordered Alden Bunag, 33, of Honolulu, detained in custody pending trial or other disposition of a charge filed in a criminal complaint that he distributed child pornography. The ruling in United States District Court in Honolulu followed Bunag’s arrest last week at an Oahu high school where he was working as a summer schoolteacher.

Bunag is charged with distributing child pornography between November 2019 and October 2021. According to the criminal complaint and affidavit, law enforcement agents reviewed at least two video recordings of Bunag's sexual conduct with a then-13-year-old former student, at least one of which he sent to another person in Pennsylvania. Agents further reviewed numerous images and videos identified as child pornography that were sent to others.

“The sexual abuse of children – a reprehensible crime – is especially exploitative when committed by a teacher against a minor student victim,” said Clare E. Connors, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii. “Recording such crimes and distributing the images to others compounds and perpetuates the victimization.”

"The FBI will vigorously hunt predators such as Alden Bunag who prey on our keiki.” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “Bunag has been detained in what is an especially egregious and serious case as he was a teacher within Hawaii's Department of Education whose young victims may be unaware of what happened to them. Individuals with information, or those who believe they are a victim, are urged to immediately contact the Honolulu FBI at (808) 673-2705 or BunagInvestigation@fbi.gov. These tip lines were specifically set up for this investigation as we believe there may be more victims out there who may assist in our investigation."

If indicted and convicted on this charge, Bunag a faces minimum term of imprisonment of five years and up to 20 years. A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Perlmutter is handling the prosecution.
 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Elliot Enoki Elliot.Enoki@usdoj.gov
Updated June 23, 2022