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Old July 10th 08, 02:28 PM posted to,,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
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Default Tacoma, Seattle settle foster father abuse lawsuit

Tacoma, Seattle settle foster father abuse lawsuit

The cities of Tacoma and Seattle have agreed to settle a lawsuit over
the sexual abuse of eight children in foster care for a total of $10.5
TACOMA, Wash. —

The cities of Tacoma and Seattle have agreed to settle a lawsuit over
the sexual abuse of eight children in foster care for a total of $10.5

The cities were added as defendants to a lawsuit filed in 2005 in Pierce
County Superior Court against the state Department of Social and Health

The state agency was accused of failing to adequately screen Ronald
Young before licensing him as a foster father and then of failing to
properly monitor children in his custody.

Young pleaded guilty in 2004 to multiple counts of child rape and sexual
exploitation of a minor and was sentenced to more than 26 years in prison.

The Tacoma City Council on Tuesday approved a $7.6 million payment to
settle the lawsuit. The remaining $2.9 million would come from Seattle.
The settlement is subject to approval by a judge.

Tacoma is paying the larger share because it had the greater exposure,
City Attorney Elizabeth Pauli told The News Tribune newspaper.

Young's wife, Wendy Young, was added as a defendant at the same time as
Tacoma and Seattle, and a $500,000 settlement in her case was reached in
February, court records show.

Wendy Young was accused of negligence for failing to provide proper
foster parenting but not of participating in sexual abuse.

The state licensed the Youngs as foster caregivers in July 2002. They
cared for 11 children until Ronald Young's arrest, and sheriff's
officials said Young abused at least eight of the boys. At the time of
his arrest, Young was staying home with the children while his wife
worked as a baker in a grocery store.

Prosecutors said Young posted pornographic pictures of his foster
children, ages 5 to 12, on the Internet. The photos were traced to
Washington state in September 2003 by the National Center for Missing &
Exploited Children, which notified Seattle police, Tacoma lawyer Jack
Connelly said.

Investigators in Seattle were legally obligated to notify state Child
Protective Services within 24 hours, Connelly said in 2006, but instead
sent the information to police in Tacoma after determining that Young
was from Pierce County .

Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson said a police officer on duty at the
time the information was received "failed to recognize the serious
nature" of it, so the case was not immediately investigated.


More than five months later, in early March 2004, Tacoma started a
criminal investigation and Young was arrested on March 25, 2004.

Anderson said Tacoma has improved its process for handling reports of
sexual abuse, but a detailed investigation is continuing.

"The lesson we have to learn is that we always have to be vigilant about
children, and this underscores it," he said.


Information from: The News Tribune,