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Oregon County to Settle Lawsuits Tied to Deputy’s Child Sex Abuse

Washington County, Oregon has agreed to pay over $60,000 in two lawsuits that alleged that the county did not do enough to stop a former sheriff’s deputy from sexually abusing two young girls. The County had received a child sexual assault complaint in 1991 against then-Deputy Robert Morrissey but did not properly investigate, according to the lawsuit. In addition to failure to investigate, both lawsuits alleged that the county failed to report the charge or to take steps to stop future abuse. Morrissey was arrested in April 1999 on child molestation charges, and was fired from the sheriff’s office in June 1999. In 2000, Morrissey was convicted on 4 counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Washington County has admitted no wrong doing in the case, stressing the fact that Morrissey was off-duty when the abuse occurred. The County says it is settling only to avoid future legal fees. The settlement is substantially less than the over $2 million that had been requested by the victims’ families.

Sources:

Portland Oregonian; 06/19/02

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