By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Yamhill couple named in $60 million lawsuit


The allegations led to the firing of Chief Operating Officer Jerry Waybrant and Child Welfare Director Lois Day by Oregon’s new director of human services, Clyde Saiki.

The agency is named in the suit, as are Day, Saiki and other parties said to have contributed or looked the other way. It was filed by Portland attorneys Erin Olson and Jane Paulson.

The suit alleges:

The girl was almost 3 and the boy 1 1/2 when they were placed in the Yateses’ care in May 2012. The couple starved the children, deprived them of medical and mental health treatment, subjected them to mental cruelty and psychological abuse and sexually abused the girl and physically assaulted the boy.

DHS caseworkers ignored clear signs of child abuse, as did their supervisors and managers, resulting in potential life-threatening consequences for the children.

Just two months after two other foster children were placed with the Yateses, DHS received a report alleging food was being withheld and verbal abuse was occurring. Hunger led one of the siblings to eat toothpaste.

DHS closed the report without taking action.

In July 2014, DHS received a report that the sheriff’s office had responded to the home out of concern that the 3 and the 1 1/2-year-old were not receiving proper care.

The report indicated they were confined to rooms with feces smeared on the walls, that the boy had a black eye, and that the children were drinking water from a horse trough. They were described as thin and small in stature, and repeatedly begged for food in the presence of a deputy.

Danielle told the deputy the girl had smeared feces on the wall because she didn’t get oatmeal for breakfast.

No action was taken.

In August 2014, a motion to terminate the Yates’ guardianship was filed on behalf of one of the biological parents.

Later that fall, the Yateses asked DHS to place the children elsewhere, saying they were no longer able to provide care. But a Child Protective Services caseworker left the children with them anyway.

Eventually, the Yateses guardianship was vacated by the court. The children were turned over to an aunt, and she informed DHS they had clearly been subjected to abuse and neglect.

The other two children had already been removed from the home.

In two separate cases, the couple have each been indicted by a Yamhill County Grand Jury on two counts of first-degree assault, a Class A felony, and four counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, a Class C felony. First-degree assault is a Measure 11 offense punishable by a lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentence.

The indictment states: “Having assumed the care, custody and responsibility for the supervision of the child, they did unlawfully and knowingly cause serious physical injury.”

Taken into custody in early March 2015, they were originally lodged on $250,000 each. However, that was reduced to $50,000, and they posted the required $5,000 to secure their release.

Danielle, 32, is with relatives in rural Amity. John, 43, is staying with relatives in the Cove Orchard area, between Yamhill and Gaston.

Neither can have contact with children under 18, with each other or with anyone associated with the case. Both must wear GPS tracking bracelets.

The case was handled by the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit, given the complexity and the children’s ages.

Settlement conferences in the criminal case are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, before Judge John Collins.

The children were taken to Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland in December 2014, the day after their aunt assumed guardianship. They were found to display classic signs of chronic starvation and malnutrition, including visible ribs, loose skin, short stature and emaciated appearance.

As a result of the abuse and neglect suffered while residing with the Yates, the children have suffered significant cognitive and motor skills, delayed endurance and strength, medical authorities have determined.

They continue to suffer emotional and physical pain and discomfort, trauma, an inability to form close relationships, sleep disruption, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. And they are susceptible to an increased risk of violence, re-victimization and early death, the authorities have determined.

Oregon Department of Human Services officials declined comment. A state report supports most of the allegations made in the lawsuit.



If there is a Hell, that's their final destination. What a shame they can't leave now. Along with the so-called Children's Services personnel.


These stories of child abuse and neglect just make me sick. I hope they put these people away for a long, long time. We have an example of sick people raising kids that will grow up to most likely be emotionally dysfunctional people, parents and members of society.


So their biologic parents failed them, then their foster parents failed them....and lastly the system put in place to protect them failed them. INEXCUSABLE.


My God, really!!! What the hell is happening with the social services and DHS - to entirely sick entities. These poor children will have to suffer the ill effects of this abuse their entire lives.


Couldn't agree more.
How can people who dedicate their professional lives to protecting children possibly fail in such spectacular fashion? They should be in the court dock alongside the actual perps.




Why are they not in jail?


I can't figure out why the deputy who saw the children begging for food didn't do anything. No child would throw a feces-level tantrum over not getting oatmeal, of all things, unless oatmeal was all they had and she didn't get anything at all. Either way, it's just plain pathetic.

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