Wash. paying $4.6 million to abused children

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington state would pay $4.6 million to two children who were abused by their father and stepmother in Carnation under a tentative settlement.

The Department of Social and Health Services says the agreement must be approved by a judge.

When police went to the home in August 2008, they found that the older child, a 14-year-old girl, was badly malnourished and weighed just 48 pounds.

Child Protective Services had looked into the girl's case three years earlier when she told a teacher she was frequently locked in her room and given little to eat. At the time, the stepmother agreed to stop the maltreatment, and the girl told a social worker she was getting enough to eat.

After the investigation the children were pulled out of pubic school. The father and stepmother later pleaded guilty to criminal mistreatment.

The agency says it has stopped simply taking a child's word for it when they say they're not being abused.