State’s Largest Sex Abuse Settlement Made Before Trial
The case stems back to 2004, when a then 12-year-old girl in foster care in Benton County began to report sexual abuse.
The girl, who is referred in court papers only as V.O., apparently endured this abuse until 2009, when she escaped her home and reported it to Police.
Tamaki Law Firm released information Wednesday, indicating the case had been settled prior to trial, and is now the largest (financially) sex abuse case ever settled in WA State. The State has agreed to award the victim $2 million dollars.
Tamaki Law says the girl began to report abuse at the hands of Abel Ortega. She had been placed through the foster care system with him and his wife Diana when she was 3 1/2 years old, in 1995. The lawsuit says the State failed to take actions when abuse began to be reported; other separate acts of abuse were also levied against Mr. Ortega.
No mention was made of what city the Ortega's lived in at that time.
The suit says despite the evidence, the State failed V.O. by not removing her until she finally escaped in 2009 and reported the sexual assault to Police. The complaint was first fled in Thurston County Superior Court in 2018.
Tamaki Law is confident the case would have been judged in the girl's favor, but because she is now 26, grown up and is living in Wisconsin, she did not want to have to relive this trauma that would have been revisited in the trial.
No mention of what criminal actions were taken against Ortega and his wife (who was also named in the suit for not attempting to report or prevent the abuse) was found in the settlement information.