Sex-abuse victim sues Dept. of Corrections, alleging failure to supervise

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Attorneys on Wednesday filed a civil lawsuit against the Washington state Department of Corrections on behalf of a child sex-abuse survivor, alleging that the state failed to properly monitor a convicted child molester as was required, despite a court order barring him from having contact with young children.

Court papers say the Department of Corrections failed to appropriately monitor and supervise Claude E. Baker, a convicted child molester from Snohomish County, who was allowed to return from community supervision to his family home, where his adoptive daughter resided.

Papers say as a result of unfettered access and a failure to monitor, Baker repeatedly sexually abused his adoptive daughter, Brittany Baker, then age 6. 

An order from Chelan Superior Court barred Baker from having unsupervised contact with minor children.

A psychosexual evaluation given to the court prior to Baker’s sentencing said he had a history of molesting children, engaging in public sex, exposing himself and patronizing teenage prostitutes.

Baker’s attorney said the case represents a profound failure by the state to fulfill its basic legal obligation to protect society’s most vulnerable.

 “It’s deeply disturbing that the state Department of Corrections so egregiously failed to supervise a sex offender when it had documents outlining not only what could happen but what likely would happen if this person was allowed to be around children,” said attorney Tim Kosnoff, who represents childhood sexual-abuse victims.

Court papers also name Baker’s wife as a defendant, saying she knew or should have known that her husband was sexually abusing their adoptive daughter in the family home and on family trips, that she failed to exercise ordinary care to safeguard her daughter, and she failed to promptly report the abuse to law enforcement or child protective services.

Claude Baker died in August 2011 at age 62.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

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