Local mother charged with failing to report sex abuse of daughter

The charges stems back to a 2017 case where three people have pleaded guilty to rape and molestation.

Editor’s note: The names of the suspects have been withheld to protect the identity of the victim.

A Black Diamond mother has been charged with failing to report child sex abuse by family members.

In December 2017, the victim — a 12-year-old girl at the time — told a fellow student at a local school that she was being sexually abused by a family member and was feeling suicidal, according to court documents.

She told police that she remembered the first time her stepfather raped her was when she was 8 years old, and described numerous encounters, including one time when the stepfather forced her to take a “morning after” pill because the condom broke.

She also said her stepfather forced her half-brother to have sex with her while the stepfather took pictures or filmed.

According to court documents, the girl told her mother of the abuse in September 2017, and they both moved out of Black Diamond to Enumclaw to stay with a family member.

The father, 38, was arrested and charged with the rape and sexual exploitation of children on Dec. 12, 2017.

At that time, the half-brother was taken into protective custody and was not charged with any crime. However, charges were filed with the King County Superior Court in July 2018 for three counts of child molestation in the third degree. It was unclear why charges were filed seven months after the stepfather.

The half-brother pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation on Feb. 28, 2019, and was sentenced to 45 weeks to juvenile rehabilitation.

The stepfather pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a child in the first degree and a communicating with a minor for immoral purposes on March 15, 2019, with a trial date reportedly scheduled for May 3. It appears the plea agreement stipulated he would not be charged under federal child pornography statues, according to court documents.

Charges of failing to report child abuse were filed against the mother were filed March 15 in the Black Diamond Municipal Court. According to a KOMO news interview with Black Diamond Cmdr. Larry Colagiovanni, the mother was originally charged with a felony, but King County declined to prosecute, which was when the city decided to hold her accountable.

According to court documents, “When asked why [she] failed to report the sexual abuse of her children to law enforcement, [she] said she was just not sure it was real,” although she admitted that she and her daughter moved out of the Black Diamond home because “she always thought there might have been sexual abuse of her daughter at the hands of” the stepfather.

Failing to report abuse, a gross misdemeanor, can be punishable by up to a year incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000, according to the state legislature.

Court documents also show a third, unnamed suspect having pleaded guilty to a related crime in this case, though it could not be independently confirmed who this third suspect was or their relation to the victim.

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