STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

$24M Suit: Oregon moved abuser into foster home with 2 girls

Oregon child welfare officials ignored years of warnings when they moved a 13-year-old boy with a history of abusing younger children into the same foster home as two young girls, according to a lawsuit against the Department of Human Services.

Posted: May 16, 2019 1:52 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon child welfare officials ignored years of warnings when they moved a 13-year-old boy with a history of abusing younger children into the same foster home as two young girls, according to a lawsuit against the Department of Human Services.

New court documents say case workers labeled the boy a "risk" and wrote that they planned to move the girls, then 5 and 7, out as soon as possible, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .

Yet the lawsuit contends they remained in the home for two months and that the boy repeatedly sexually abused them.

Documents say the abuse came to light in 2017 when the boy admitted it and the girls confirmed what had happened, court records say.

A lawyer sued the Department of Human Services on the girls' behalf in September, then filed an updated version of the lawsuit this month after the agency turned over its case files.

State lawyers responded to the initial lawsuit by filing court papers that acknowledged they should never have placed the boy in the home.

The new filing lists dozens of concerning reports made to the state about the boy's increasingly aggressive sexual behavior, starting when he was 5. Teachers could not leave him alone with other children, and his caregivers agreed to put an alarm on his door to prevent him from entering his sisters' room at night. Before his eighth birthday, he had an "extensive history of touching other children," according to a Department of Human Services report cited in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says state workers nevertheless neglected to warn the foster parents when they placed him in the same home as the girls in October 2014.

The lawsuit seeks $24.3 million in damages for the girls, based on a state law that increases damages to particularly vulnerable victims.

"This is an especially egregious example where DHS is supposed to safeguard children, and, in this case, they put them in more danger," said Paul Galm, the Beaverton attorney who represents the girls, who remain in foster care.

Oregon's child welfare agency has received increasing criticism for failing to solve problems that have left foster children in harm's way. The department faces several lawsuits collectively seeking tens of millions of dollars on behalf of children killed or hurt in foster care or after case workers investigated reports of abuse.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20635

Reported Deaths: 348
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah476293
Washington299124
Marion283769
Umatilla222127
Clackamas150039
Malheur75513
Deschutes5829
Lane5653
Jackson4472
Yamhill42913
Lincoln4129
Union3942
Morrow3493
Jefferson3464
Polk30812
Linn27110
Klamath2012
Hood River1810
Wasco1813
Benton1646
Douglas1481
Josephine1132
Columbia910
Coos900
Clatsop840
Crook431
Baker380
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Sherman150
Curry140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 546814

Reported Deaths: 10133
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2042584919
Riverside40452799
Orange38754704
San Bernardino34939497
San Diego31127583
Kern22009160
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10475196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8760136
Ventura803582
San Francisco732664
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5978120
Marin525778
Monterey515635
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma335844
Madera226736
Placer209920
San Luis Obispo204716
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12294
Butte10608
Napa104610
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6380
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3624
Glenn3603
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2202
Amador1620
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte960
Siskiyou920
Inyo863
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 75°
Brookings
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Crater Lake
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 70°
Grants Pass
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 73°
Klamath Falls
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 70°
Temperatures heating up
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events