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Father George DeCosta

Father George DeCosta Father George DeCosta

In July 2012, two victims of child sexual abuse filed legal claims in New York charging they were sexually abused by a long-time Hilo priest, Fr. George DeCosta. They came forward as part of the recent bankruptcy of the Irish Christian Brothers, the Catholic religious order that runs Honolulu’s Damien Memorial School where DeCosta was a teacher.

Both survivors were young students at Damien in the late 1960s when DeCosta was a religion teacher and director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) at the school. At least one victim claimed abuse at an Oahu CYO camp. DeCosta was also assigned to St. Theresa’s parish at the time of the alleged abuse.

DeCosta mysteriously retired in 2002 under Bishop Francis DiLorenzo after serving for almost 20 years at St. Mary Gate of Heaven – now Malia Puka’O Kalani - parish in Hilo.

Now, DeCosta is the pastor of the Hale Lokahi community in Hilo. He also works with Music Ministry Alive, a MN-based group that trains young people to be liturgical music leaders. He is also the founder of the Big Island Learning and Arts Community (BILAC).

To date, the Irish Christian Brothers and the Diocese of Honolulu have not publicly disclosed that DeCosta worked at Damien. They have not reached out to victims, nor informed the community of Decosta’s crimes.


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