Two families filed suit this month against the state of Washington, accusing the Department of Early Learning of negligence for failing to investigate a woman's record before it gave her a license to open a home-based day care in Marysville in 2008.
The suit, filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, also names the day care operator, Anne Ladale Moore, alleging that she covered up her teenage son’s long history of sexually abusing children at day cares Moore operated previously in Idaho.
“Her day care was a disaster and it was a danger for every child in it,” said attorney Darrell Cochran, who is representing the plaintiffs.
Moore was the focus of a KING 5 investigation in 2011 that showed that many of the top earning home day cares -- ones participating in a state program that pays child care for low-income parents -- had more complaints and violations, on average, than other day cares.
Moore earned nearly a quarter million dollars worth of state subsidy payments in 2009 by operating her “All Hours Daycare” around the clock.
“She was warehousing children 24 hours a day to make every last dollar she could,” said Cochran.
The lawsuit says the Department of Early Learning wasn’t monitoring Moore closely enough. While KING 5 was investigating Moore, a parent went to Marysville police with a concern that her child was being sexually molested by Moore’s then 16-year-old son Dakota Wilson.
Subsequently, KING 5 reported that Wilson had been accused of abusing children at day cares operated by his mother in Idaho. Documents that Cochran obtained for the lawsuit show that Boise police weren’t willing to investigate Wilson, even though Idaho child welfare authorities had heard complaints that he was abusing children in 2001 and 2004.
A 2004 memo from a Idaho child welfare worker says Boise police would not investigate Wilson “...unless there are allegations of adult on kid not kid on kid” sex abuse.
Wilson was originally accused of raping three children in his mother’s Marysville day care. He pleaded guilty to a reduced assault charge in 2012 and was not required to register as a sex offender.
DEL spokesperson Amy Blondin said the agency could not comment on the allegations because of the pending lawsuit.
DEL has previously placed the blame squarely with Moore, who did not reveal her son’s history in Idaho. The agency says records it received from Idaho before it gave Moore her Washington license did not reveal the serious nature of Moore’s troubles there.
Moore could not be reached for this story.