The state has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of two sisters, ages 12 and 13, who were repeatedly raped by their maternal grandfather after they were placed as foster children in his care.
The girls had been removed from their mother’s custody because of allegations of abuse in 2004 and had spent time in several foster homes by the time they were placed in the Tacoma home of Emanuel L. Finch in 2007.
Over the next three years, according to court documents, both girls were raped on a weekly basis by their grandfather.
A criminal investigation was launched in 2010 when one of the girls told a friend at summer camp that her grandfather had done “yucky” things to her. She also said that she and her sister were willing to put up with the abuse because they didn’t want to move any more, court documents say.
Finch, 61, was charged with nine counts of first-degree child rape and first-degree child molestation in 2010 and was convicted by a jury on all counts. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
According to the lawsuit filed by attorneys Ken Selander and Lincoln Beauregard, the state Department of Social and Health Services failed to investigate Finch’s home before placing the girls in his care.
“The circumstances that these girls were placed in was horrendous and avoidable,” Beauregard said Wednesday.
Officials with DSHS did not comment Wednesday on the settlement.