Washington to pay $3 million in sex abuse settlement

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SEATTLE — Washington has agreed to pay $3 million to a woman who says the state failed to protect her in 1995 after she gave birth in Spokane as a 12-year-old, her lawyer and a state agency said.

Deaconess Hospital asked the state’s Child Protective Services agency to investigate because of the sixth-grader’s age. CPS workers identified her mother’s 35-year-old boyfriend as the likely father, but they did nothing to protect the girl, Seattle lawyer Michael T. Pfau said.

The family moved to Boise, Idaho, where the sexual abuse continued and she gave birth to another child just 10 months later, when she was 13.

In 2010, when the girl was 27 and allowed to use the Internet for the first time, she made a friend in a chat room who helped her realize what had happened and move out.

The lawsuit against the Washington child welfare agency was filed in April 2012 in Pierce County Superior Court. The settlement avoids a trial that was scheduled this week in Tacoma.