Former Washington State Foster Child Receives $2.5 Million in Abuse Settlement

The state of Washington has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit for $2.5 million brought by a former foster child who was abused while in the care of a convicted child molester.

According to the Associated Press, “The state Department of Social and Health Services confirmed the settlement. It said although background check processes ‘appropriate for the time’ were done when Lester Drappeaux’s foster home was licensed in 1978, they did not pick up that he had a 1972 conviction for taking indecent liberties with a minor. The DSHS said Drappeaux ‘consistently lied in his licensing documents about prior convictions involving minors.’”

It is not clear how a background check could be deemed “appropriate at the time” when it missed an earlier conviction for sexual abuse.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit was five years old in 1979 when she was placed in the care of Drappeaux. She testified that the abuse escalated to once or twice a week for the duration of her stay with Drappeaux which lasted until she graduated high school. Court records show that Drappeaux abused other children in his care as well.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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