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Third assault victim settles for $1.3 million

The third of four women to file lawsuits against the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District over sexual assault allegations from the 1990s has settled for $1.3 million, district director Bill Walker said Friday.

The four women, represented by Seattle attorney Lincoln Beauregard, were molested as children by convicted serial pedophile Andrew King, who was the swim coach for the Aquajets swim team in the mid-1990s.

The lawsuits, filed in King County, claim that the district was negligent in hiring and supervising King, who had unlimited and unsupervised access to the girls. A group of parents at the time complained to district commissioners about King’s inappropriate behavior with female swimmers.

The first lawsuit was settled last summer for $1.5 million. The woman was the only victim on the Aquajets team to report to police that King had raped and molested her. She was 12 years old when he started molesting her in 1994.

Oak Harbor police investigated, but King was never charged. King mysteriously disappeared in 1997, right before the park and recreation board was scheduled to discuss complaints about his inappropriate behavior.

Detectives in San Jose, Calif. uncovered during a 2009 investigation that King is a serial pedophile who’s raped and molested dozens of girls while coaching swimming over a 30-year career.

King is currently serving 40 years in a California prison after pleading no contest to 20 child molestations charges.

The second lawsuit was settled last October for $2.1 million.

Walker said a lawsuit filed by  the fourth woman isn’t yet resolved. He said the parks and recreation district’s insurance company is handling the cases and the negotiations since it also pays the settlements. He said he didn’t know if there will be any more lawsuits related to King.

Walker said he couldn’t discuss the cases because of ongoing litigation, but he emphasized that policies and procedures were subsequently adopted to keep children safe.

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