- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A lawsuit alleges that Arkansas Department of Human Services employees knowingly placed foster children into a home with a “known violent sexual predator.”

The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of seven former foster children of Clarence Garretson, who was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to taking a child across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. He had been charged with 11 counts involving eight minors.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/2rBlj01 ) that the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the state.

DHS spokeswoman Brandi Hinkle declined comment on the lawsuit but said that the vetting system for foster families is more rigorous than it was 20 years ago when Garretson was approved as a foster parent.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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