The Associated Press
Washington state has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a former foster child who said she was sexually abused by a foster father who was a convicted sex offender.
The victim’s lawyer, Jason Amala, said Tuesday the settlement will allow the state to avoid a jury trial that had been scheduled to begin in Seattle.
The state Department of Social and Health Services confirmed the settlement. It said although background check processes “appropriate for the time” were done when Lester Drappeaux’s foster home was licensed in 1978, they did not pick up that he had a 1972 conviction for taking indecent liberties with a minor. DSHS says Drappeaux consistently lied about prior convictions involving minors.
Drappeaux is dead.
The agency acknowledged that it was only after federal FBI criminal information was provided to DSHS in the mid-1990s that the foster father’s criminal history was discovered and the home closed.