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SK’s Norman family sued over daycare molestation

The parents of two reported victims of a 21-year-old South Kitsap man convicted of molesting children in his mother’s daycare have filed a lawsuit against Chad Norman’s family and the state of Washington for allegedly failing to protect their children.

The suit, filed on June 28, claims the plaintiffs’ two children — a boy and girl under the age of 10 at the time of the abuse — were both molested in the now- closed business called Karla’s Daycare, run by Norman’s mother out of the family home.

They further allege that both Karla Norman and employees of the state Department of Social and Health Services were aware the molestation was occurring, but did nothing to stop the abuse or close the business until a subsequent criminal investigation.

According to the suit, the parents first learned of the abuse in October 2002 when their then 9-year-old daughter told them she had been sexually assaulted at the Norman’s home, where a state-licensed daycare center was operating.

They said she revealed the information after it was announced that the center was closing.

Later, the plaintiffs said they learned that on Oct. 10 a complaint was filed with DSHS, and a resulting criminal investigation revealed that both Chad Norman and his younger brother had been routinely molesting children in their mother’s care.

The parents’ of the victims — they later learned their son had been molested, as well — claim that Karla Norman either knew, or should have known, the abuse was going on, but failed to take action to prevent it from continuing.

The parents also claim that DSHS knew about the abuse for several years. In their suit, they report that a complaint was filed with the agency as far back as 1997, and that a DSHS investigator did determine molestation had occurred at the center.

However, the parents allege, no actions were taken to either suspend the license of the center’s operators, protect the children or inform the parents of the center’s clients.

Instead, they said, the Normans were allowed to continue operating, which constituted “gross negligence” on the part of the agency.

“DSHS is required by law to ensure the safety and well-being of the children ... in the centers they license, and the (victims) were molested as a direct result of the defendants’ failure to exercise reasonable care,” the suit alleges.

Most members of the Norman family — Chad, his parents Karla and Dean, and his younger brother — are held responsible in the suit, along with the DSHS.

Both Chad and his brother were convicted of molestation in criminal courts.

Sentenced in August 2003 to 68 months in prison, Chad is nearly two years into a five-and-a-half-year sentence for first-degree molestation, while his brother received a lighter sentence in juvenile court.

Chad reportedly assaulted his victims — a 9-year-old girl and a 5-year-old girl — up to 20 times each, continuing the abuse after they asked him to stop.

The attacks all happened between March 17 and Aug. 31 of 2001 at his mother’s daycare.

Norman was 19 at the time of his arrest, and his younger brother 15.

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