Former foster children sue DSHS, Sound Mental Health

Children abused by people they're supposed to trust.

SEATTLE — She's 28 now, but for a moment, she was 5 years old again, living a nightmare in this South Seattle foster home.

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"What was happening was not a secret," she said. "It was being expressed to CPS, to my workers."

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The woman is one of several former foster children alleging abuse against Tracy and Henry Robinson. KIRO 7 is not releasing the name of the victims.

The victims, now adults, say the couple sexually and physically abused the children sent to live with them; where children were forced to sleep outside with the family dog as punishment.

"I wasn't allowed in the dog house," the 28-year-old said. "I would have to sleep next to it."

“When she would come out in the morning and see me sleep, she would grab me by my hair and she would tell me only one 'B' gets to sleep and that's my dog."

The couple also served them dog food.

"They used to wrap Alpo in tortillas and feed it to us," said another alleged victim, now 31.

The home, said attorney Lawand Anderson, "was essentially a house of horrors." Anderson claims that counselors at Sound Mental Health were made aware of the abuse, and that they did nothing.

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"My clients were sent home, back to the foster home, each and every day," Anderson said.

The state's own documents show the Robinsons' foster care license was revoked in 1992 and again in 1999. But DSHS never stopped sending foster children to live with them.

Another victim, who is now 29, was asked if Henry Robinson attacked her, too.

"Yes," she said. "Sexually abused, yes."

Their attorneys say they never were safe.

"This is one of the worst homes I've ever seen," said attorney Lincoln Beauregard. "And it leaves me with the impression that it was a dumping ground for hard to place African-American children."

The former foster parents are also African-American. The women say their foster parents told them, "No one will ever believe you."

And for a long time, that seemed to be true, but now they will have their day in court.