$8 million awarded to foster girls placed with sex offender

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A Whatcom County jury has awarded two girls $8 million after they were assaulted when placed in a foster home with a boy who had been accused of sex abuse.

The Bellingham Herald reports that jurors awarded $4 million to each girl on Wednesday.

The then 12-year-old boy had been suspected of sexually abusing a 5-year-old family member in 2012. He was not charged in the incident.

According to the lawsuit, the state Department of Social and Health Services did not take those accusations into account before placing a 3-year-old and a 6-year old girl into the foster home in 2003.

One of the girls reported the abuse they suffered in the home to police in 2013.

DSHS said in a statement that the agency continues to improve policies and practices to keep children safe.