Hawaii settles lawsuit over sex abuse in foster care

Hawaii settles lawsuit over sex abuse in foster care
(Image: Maui Police Department)

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii has agreed to pay $585,000 to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of two former foster children who were sexually abused by their Maui foster parent.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the lawsuit filed in 2014 claimed state Department of Human Services officials were negligent and should have known that Florentino Rios was unfit to be a foster parent.

Rios, who went by the name Zack Morris in Hawaii, was convicted of sexually assaulting three foster children who were placed in his care from 2009 to 2011.

He is serving a 20-year prison sentence.

According to the state attorney general's office, a background check under the new name "did not uncover any information" that raised concern.

A spokeswoman for the department referred questions back to the attorney general’s office.

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