Former witness settles lawsuit in Wenatchee sex abuse case

Seattle Post-Intelligencer/February 27, 2001

Wenatchee -- A young woman who said authorities pressured her to accuse her parents of sexual abuse has settled her lawsuit against a former Wenatchee police detective and a former state social worker.

Sarah Marie Doggett, 22, who now lives in California, will receive $52,500 from the state and $25,000 from the city of Wenatchee under the settlement, said Gary Larson, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office.

"It was settled for an amount that we think was fair to both sides," he said. The city and state admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, and documents dismissing Doggett's lawsuit were filed last week in Chelan County Superior Court.

Doggett is the daughter of Carol and Mark Doggett, whose child sexual abuse convictions were overturned on appeal in 1997. They were two of 43 adults arrested in the now largely discredited 1994-95 Wenatchee child sex abuse investigations led by former police Detective Bob Perez.

The 18 people sent to prison in the cases all have been released, either because their convictions were overturned on appeal, or because they accepted post-conviction agreements to plead guilty to lesser charges while their cases were on appeal.

Doggett sued in 1997, accusing Perez and former state Child Protective Service social worker Pat Boggess of removing her from a home in California in 1995 and flying her, without proper court order, back to Wenatchee.

From there, Doggett said, she was forcibly taken to a mental hospital in Idaho where she contends she was given drugs and pressured to accuse her parents of molesting her. She has said repeatedly that her parents never committed any abuse.

State and city officials contended Doggett was suicidal, suffering from an eating disorder and agreed to the commitment.

Carol Doggett, who now lives with her husband in the Everett area, said they supported their daughter's decision to settle. "I think she was relieved to have it over with," Carol Doggett said. "She's happy taking care of her family and wants to put it all behind her."

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