New Sex Abuse Complaints Surface Against Hawaii School Psychiatrist Robert Browne

January 21, 2020

Two years after Kamehameha Schools agreed to an $80 million settlement over claims of sexual abuse, others are now coming forward with plans to file another lawsuit.

But this time, the former students who say they were also abused by the school psychiatrist are women.

KHON2 normally would not identify victims of sexual assault. But Sabrina Cowan says she wants other female victims out there to speak out.

Kamehameha Schools agreed to pay $80 million to 32 former students who say they were abused by psychiatrist Dr. Robert Browne from 1958-1985. In many cases, they reported it to the school but nothing was done.

A new lawsuit filed by attorney Randall Rosenberg has new allegations against Browne, who committed suicide in 1985. Among the alleged victims, Sabrina Cowan, who was 12 years old when she saw Dr. Browne in his office in 1971.

“He was sitting next to me on the couch and then all of a sudden he put his arm around me. I thought he was trying to comfort me,” said Cowan.

But instead, she says Browne grabbed her. She fought him off and screamed, and then threatened to report him.

“I was screaming at him to get away from me and he starts laughing at me. And he goes, and you think they’re gonna believe you over me? And he points to all his degrees up on the wall and stuff like that,” said Cowan.

She says she didn’t tell anyone until several years later. She reported it to one of the school counselors and she said nothing happened.

“I became very withdrawn in school and alone and I kind of like, what’s that word, suffered in silence,” said Cowan.

Past victims have been boys, but Cowan believes other girls were also abused.

“I wanted people to know that he didn’t only do this to the boys, he did it to the girls too and I don’t understand why no females have come forward,” she said.

The statute of limitations expires on April 24, so attorney Rosenberg is asking other victims to step forward before then.

Kamehameha Schools has sent a statement saying, “We are very sorry for past abuses suffered by Dr. Browne’s patients and will continue to uphold our commitment to do what is right for survivors. We have been working, and will continue to work, on resolving these cases.”

Source: “More sex assault allegations against former Kamehameha Schools psychiatrist,” KHON TV 2 (Hawaii), January 16, 2020. URL:


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