The Deadliest Catch star Sig Hansen has been accused of having molested his daughter when she was a young girl, but now reports indicate that he will not be facing any criminal charges in the case. Hansen is a fan-favorite on the Discovery show where he is the skipper of the Northwestern, and his fans will be thrilled to hear this news. The molestation case is not a new one, but the allegations were recently revived, and there is a civil suit in the works against the Deadliest Catch personality as well.
The Seattle Times shares the latest Sig Hansen case updates. Reports detail that prosecutors in Snohomish County, Washington have reviewed the details from the original case and they have decided that they will not pursue criminal charges against the Deadliest Catch star. Hansen, 50, is accused of having molested his daughter Melissa, who was two years old at the time of the alleged incident.
The allegations against Sig came during a contentious divorce from his first wife, Lisa Eckstrom. During the divorce and custody battle, Melissa was said to have told some of her relatives that Hansen had been inappropriate with her while they were together for a visit. Doctors examined her and social workers investigated, and Sig was initially arrested in 1990.
Reports detail that Hansen’s case was reviewed several times at that point, in both 1990 and 1991, but ultimately, prosecutors declined to press charges because they felt that there were issues with the proof they had available to use. Interestingly, at the time, Deputy Prosecutor Paul Stern wrote to Eckstrom detailing that prosecutors essentially did believe the allegations, but they felt they were limited in their ability to prosecute and convince a jury of Sig’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
While the judge presiding over the divorce and custody matter ended up ruling that the alleged abuse did not occur, Sig did give up his parental rights to Melissa as the case concluded. Nothing more regarding the allegations came up until last year when Melissa filed a civil suit against the Deadliest Catch star. Melissa is now 28 and works in Seattle as a family law attorney, and she recently went public with her allegations.
Melissa says that she dealt with quite a bit of trauma as a result of what happened with Sig, noting that she had eating disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts over the years. Things have been contentious and hairy as the suit progressed with the Deadliest Catch personality, in part due to the judge’s declaration during the divorce case and the fact that the files are sealed. However, the civil suit prompted prosecutors to review the details and reconsider whether criminal charges should be filed.
Hansen has always maintained that the allegations were false and concocted by his ex-wife. As news emerged recently regarding the allegations and potential charges, Discovery released a statement and stood by their star. As Fox News reported, Discovery said that the situation would not impact Deadliest Catch and aside from that one statement, they have refrained from commenting further. For his part, Sig has called these revived allegations a shakedown, claiming that there have been attempts to extort money from him over the supposed incident.
The two sides are said to have reached a tentative agreement over the civil suit a while back where Hansen would reportedly pay Melissa $1.5 million. However, the agreement reportedly fell apart when Sig’s team included language regarding the possible loss of Melissa’s law license if details of the agreement became known to the public. His team acknowledges that there was talk of an agreement but says that the Deadliest Catch star considered it only to protect his family and get rid of the suit.
Prosecutors say that they reviewed the case from 1990 as well as some additional material, and their focus was on whether there was sufficient proof available at this point to convince a jury that Hansen was guilty. After their review, they note that their position remains unchanged and that they will not pursue criminal charges against the Deadliest Catch star.
Melissa Eckstrom stands by her allegations, insisting that she has memories of what happened, while Sig Hansen continues to deny that anything inappropriate happened. The Deadliest Catch continues on Discovery, with no reference to the situation at all, and both fans and critics of the reality television star will have to stay tuned to see what comes next on this front.
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