The mother of murder victim Rachel Carver is asking Spokane County for more than $1 million, claiming that Coroner Dexter Amend invaded her daughter’s privacy.
Lori Beal filed a claim against the county asking for at least $1.05 million, alleging that Amend wrongfully released Rachel Carver’s autopsy results.
The coroner said Monday that he hadn’t yet read Beal’s claim but didn’t believe it had merit.
Amend said he didn’t mention Carver by name in discussing autopsy results about the 9-year-old victim.
“She’s been sodomized over and over and sodomy is a homosexual act,” Amend said in August. “It is.”
In recent months, Amend has been outspoken in his condemnation of homosexuals.
The coroner’s comments drew public outrage and spawned a recall effort that a judge recently allowed to go forward.
In her claim, Carver’s mother says that her daughter “has been used and humiliated by the Spokane County coroner for selfish political purposes and her reputation has been severely and irreparably compromised and damaged in the eyes of the public.”
The claim says the amount of damage inflicted on her daughter’s reputation can’t be quantified.
Typically, filing a claim is the first step to filing a lawsuit. By law, a claim must be filed against a government agency before a lawsuit may be filed.
Efforts to reach Beal’s lawyer, Dennis Cronin, on Monday were unsuccessful.
Amend’s attorney has produced an Aug. 25 letter from Scott Carver, the father of Rachel Carver, in which the father says he gave the coroner verbal consent to release his daughter’s autopsy results.
Scott Carver spent a year in jail for molesting Rachel Carver’s sister, according to Child Protective Services records. He was later found to be abusing Rachel.
Rachel’s body was discovered June 15 at Riverside State Park.
Her uncle, Jason Wickenhagen, is charged with killing the child. He claimed three men came into his house and forced him to kill his niece.
The official cause of death is a blow to the head.
Amend said in August he felt compelled to speak out about the autopsy results.
“I don’t care what the political ramifications are on this. It’s a horrible, unbelievable thing that this child went through and they (homosexuals) destroyed her life,” Amend said at the time.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.