by: Deborah Horne Updated:
Most of us know Sig Hansen as a star on the popular reality TV show "Deadliest Catch."
But his 28-year-old daughter, now a lawyer, says she knows him as a child sexual predator.
"My father molested and raped and abused me as a child," Melissa Eckstrom said.
The abuse began, she says, before she was 3.
"My memories are all, obviously, scattered," she conceded. "So I don't remember exact dates and times, things like that."
"But you remember?" she was asked.
"I do remember," Eckstrom said.
"What do you remember?" she was asked.
"I remember things that I don't particularly want to say out loud," she said. "But I do definitely remember him abusing me."
In a statement, Hansen called his daughter's claims "baseless" and insisted he was "fully exonerated" in 1990 by a prosecutor.
But in a letter to Melissa's mother, then Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Paul Stern wrote he believed Hansen had "acted in a sexually inappropriate manner toward Melissa."
“And then basically on the advice of the counselor saying it would just be too traumatic to put her through it," Lincoln Beauregard, Eckstrom's attorney, said, "they didn't actually prosecute him."
Melissa decided to go public about a civil lawsuit she filed against her father last year. Now she and her attorneys are hoping the Snohomish County prosecutor will revisit the 1990s criminal case against Sig Hansen.
They believe the statute of limitations on her case doesn't expire until she turns 30 in 2018.
"If they did that," she said, her voice trailing off. "She'd give up the civil case," continued Beauregard.
"You would give up your civil case for that?" she was asked.
"Oh, yeah," she said.
"This isn't about the money," she replied.
"What's it about?" she was asked.
"Justice," she said. "Accountability."
That is something she is now relying on a court of law to provide.
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