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Friday
Aug122011

Washington Firefighter's Wife Denies Link to Child Sex Abuse

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(EATONVILLE, Wash.) -- The mother of four Eatonville, Washington adopted daughters pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that she physically abused the girls and also turned a blind eye to the alleged sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of her now-deceased husband.

Drew Anne Hamrick, 48, was arrested Wednesday.  Her late husband, Lt. Scott Hamrick, 49, a veteran firefighter, killed himself on June 30 after learning that police were investigating allegations he had molested the four foster daughters that the couple later adopted.

"The entire department and particularly his co-workers are shocked, in disbelief and angry to learn that he had been under investigation for crimes against children," Fire Chief Doug Willis wrote in a statement.

The mayor's office and police department have not responded to ABC News' requests for comment.

Hamrick abruptly resigned June 23 after 27 years as a firefighter, writing in a letter shared by Willis that "personal issues" were the reason for his resignation, KIRO 7 TV reported.

The couple had five adopted daughters and two adult sons together, along with a son Drew Anne Hamrick had from a previous relationship.  Four of the daughters said they were abused.

The couple was reportedly licensed as foster parents between October 1997 and September 2004.

Drew Anne Hamrick's attorney told ABC affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle that his client had no prior knowledge of the alleged repeated molestation and kicked her husband out of the house when she learned of it.

But Scott Hamrick's actions were only the beginning of the pain the girls allegedly suffered at the hands of their parents, authorities say.

One daughter, whom court documents called K.H. in order to protect her identity, was allegedly locked in a room for up to a week at times, without food, water, a bed and a bathroom.

A third daughter, who is now 21, told police of one incident in which her mother slashed her with scissors and used tape to close her wound.  Another time she threw a hot curling iron on the girl's arm, leaving burns, she alleged.  The mother also allegedly hit the 12-year-old with a metal spatula.

Not only was Drew Anne Hamrick allegedly abusive, but she also allegedly was aware and continued to allow her husband to sexually abuse their daughters, something one daughter told police had happened "ever since I can remember."

Drew Anne Hamrick faces two counts of tampering with a witness, unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree criminal mistreatment.

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