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State of Washington sued for negligence in foster care system sex abuse case

The State of Washington settled a negligent lawsuit that was filed last year  in Benton County.

The lawsuit alleged that  in 1995, the State of Washington negligently placed a 3.5 year old girl in the foster home of Abel and Diana Ortega.

During that time, prior allegations of sexual abuse of a female foster child against Abel Ortega had already been reported.The lawsuit alleged that the State, failed to investigate and take action on several occasions and received several complaints of physical and sexual abuse over the course of 14 yers agist   Ortega. The lawsuit also claims  negligence against Abel Ortega’s wife, Diana Ortega, for her failure to protect  the child  from her husband.

The suit claims that the State was notified in 2004 that the then 12 year old child was being raped by Ortega,  her foster father. The suit goes n to allege that the state had  received notice of several other  child foster care children – victims of sex abuse –  who alleged that Mr. Ortega had sexually abused and raped them. The child was not removed from the home in 2004 when the notice was given, and she remained there for an additional  5 years when in 2009 she was able to escape the home of her abuser and reported the yers of sexual assault  and rape to police.

The survivor’s suit against the State of Washington has been settled, the  claims against Diana Ortega still have not been resolved and a trial is pending.

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