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News / Northwest

Feds pay $800K to woman who sued after parole agents allowed child abuser to move in

By Mike Carter, The Seattle Times
Published: May 23, 2023, 10:25am

The federal government has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging a young Washington girl was sexually abused for years by a convicted murderer and child abuser who parole agents negligently allowed to move into her home, according to her attorney.

The abuse survivor, identified in court documents by the initials “B.E.,” had been living with her grandmother on the Muckleshoot Reservation when U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services agents allowed Leslie Guy Wilson — who had spent more than half of his life in prison — to move into their home in 2010 after marrying the grandmother.

The lawsuit alleges agents withheld the details of Wilson’s criminal past, which included a 1989 conviction for molesting a 10-year-old girl and a 17-year prison sentence for the murders two years later of a married couple on the Makah Indian Reservation, where evidence showed he shot both of the victims then violated the dead woman’s body.

“Wilson was, and remains, one of the most dangerous, sexually deviant and violent people that could be scripted from the human imagination,” wrote the girl’s attorney, Dan Fiorito, in a complained filed in U.S. District Court in May 2022.

“U.S. Probation unlashed a sexual predator into the home of a little girl that had no protection from the monster being placed under her roof,” the complaint says. The girl’s grandmother, he said, “was totally ill-equipped to help” because of addiction problems and “the blind spot created by her marriage to Wilson.”

The lawsuit alleges the abuse continued for two years, ending after B.E., then 6 years old, complained to her grandmother about Wilson touching her inappropriately. Wilson was arrested after an investigation and convicted in 2016 of first-degree rape of a child and attempted first-degree rape of a child.

Wilson’s convictions were reversed on appeal in 2019 because of a jury instruction error, however. Rather than face another trial, he pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree assault, according to court records, and remains in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle acknowledged the settlement Monday, noting the resolution came early in the litigation. “Our hope is that this early settlement will allow the victim in this case, and the family, to begin the healing process,” the office said in a statement.

Fiorito believes B.E.’s abuse was made worse by the federal agency’s “complete lack of cultural sensitivity and historical perspective” in placing Wilson on the Muckleshoot Reservation without alerting anyone about the extent of his criminal past.

The lawsuit alleged U.S. Probation agents repeatedly allowed Wilson to return to the home after several probation violations, most involving alcohol or drugs. It claimed the agency “served as an accomplice to sexual abuse by hiding Wilson in a place it figured no questions would be raised as to his presence.”

“B.E.’s life was forever altered because U.S. Probation did not do its job,” the lawsuit says.

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