Facts About Sig Hansen
This website includes important documents concerning the lawsuit Melissa Eckstrom v. Sig Hansen - case number 16-2-12120-9 SEA.
This lawsuit is a re-hash of 25 year old allegations made by Sig’s ex-wife – allegations that were rejected by the Court after a week-long trial. The current charges against Sig Hansen are motivated by nothing more than money in the form of an " shakedown," as evidenced by supplementary legal materials, including Sig Hansen’s polygraph test, statements by others involved in the case and other court and law enforcement records. Below is a statement by Sig Hansen regarding the allegations, a timeline of events, and statements from others involved in this case.
Statement from Sig Hansen
“I’m a pretty plain-spoken guy, and to me, this is nothing more than a shakedown. The allegations are completely false, rehashed lies my ex-wife Lisa Eckstrom used nearly 30 years ago to take away my daughter, and has continued to try to use to extort money from me.
“The fact is, decades ago I was exonerated of these allegations after a full court trial. My ex-wife Lisa took me – and worst of all, my parents – to court for this back in 1990, making these baseless claims. We were fully exonerated after a prosecuting attorney, a judge, court-appointed experts, a guardian ad litem and team of other child experts all agreed that these claims were pure fiction. I cooperated 100 percent, including taking a polygraph test that also confirmed my innocence.
“The tragedy is that my ex-wife Lisa has poisoned my relationship with our daughter through years of vile lies. Lisa has spun a web of deceit, depriving my daughter and me of a healthy, loving relationship. To me, that is the definition of child abuse.
“This is the third time the Eckstrom family has threatened to publicly rehash lies about me unless I pay them a pile of money, and I finally said enough is enough. If you’ve got something, bring it, because it was BS then, and it is BS now.”
Timeline of Events
This outline of events is compiled from third-party sources including court and law enforcement records along with interviews of those involved.
- 1987 – Sig Hansen and Lisa Eckstrom married after Eckstrom became pregnant. Within a month of the marriage, the parties separated – without ever living together as a married couple – and Eckstrom filed for divorce. After the birth of their daughter Melissa, Lisa Eckstrom claimed that Hansen was not the child’s father. Hansen protested and demanded a paternity test which proved that he was baby’s father.
- 1990 – When the child was two years old, and in the context of a larger custody battle, Lisa Eckstrom accused Hansen of sexually abusing his daughter – allegations that Hansen strongly rejected. The Snohomish County and State authorities completed an investigation into the allegations, including interviews by social workers, review of medical evidence and a polygraph that Hansen volunteered to take and passed. The prosecutor’s office concluded there was not sufficient evidence to support the claim by Lisa Eckstrom and refused to file charges. The State of Washington also declined to pursue abuse charges against Sig Hansen.
These allegations were again resisted in the divorce action, where Lisa Eckstrom also accused Hansen’s parents of abuse. As part of the divorce proceeding in King County court, the court-appointed child psychiatrist and the guardian ad litem for Melissa Eckstrom both found that Sig had not abused Melissa. After an extensive investigation and during the ensuing six-day trial, the King County judge reviewed all the evidence and considered the testimony of witnesses from both sides. After this trial, the judge concluded that the abuse charges were groundless, made an express finding that neither Hansen nor his parents had ever abused Melissa, and awarded Hansen visitation rights to his daughter.
- 1993 – Despite his best efforts to fulfill his role as a father to a daughter that he loved, after a number of months it was clear to Hansen that Lisa Eckstrom was working to poison the relationship between Hansen and his daughter, ruining his ability to be a positive influence in the child’s life.
- Fall 2010 – Almost 20 years after Lisa Eckstrom’s claims of abuse were disproven, Hansen’s daughter, Melissa Eckstrom, reached out to Hansen by saying she wanted to attend law school and needed $300,000 up front. Hansen agreed to meet Melissa Eckstrom if the meeting was moderated by a professional third party. She agreed.
Before the meeting could take place, Hansen and his wife received a series of phone calls from Melissa’s mother, Lisa Eckstrom, culminating in a call in which Lisa Eckstrom demanded that Hansen pay $300,000 by January 1 or she would take the false claims of abuse to the media.
- December 23, 2010 – In spite of the phone calls from Lisa Eckstrom, Hansen agreed to move forward with the monitored meeting with his daughter.
During their meeting, Melissa Eckstrom said that she needed the money for law school, and that if her father didn’t want to give her this money, she would never contact him again. The amount she asked for was nearly double the estimate for her preferred law school at that time.
At the conclusion of this first meeting, Hansen told Melissa Eckstrom that he was happy that she reached out to him, and wanted to explore re-establishing a relationship with her, and to introduce her to his wife and two children, but voiced concerns over the demand for money.
- December 29, 2010 – At a later meeting, the facilitator reminded Melissa Eckstrom of her promise to not contact Hansen again if he was not willing to pay $300,000. Melissa Eckstrom replied that it was not her desire to contact the media but she would “finish her book…about my life… and get it out there,” a comment interpreted by the social worker as a consequence for refusing to pay her money.
- December 29, 2010 – After the meeting with Melissa Eckstrom proved unsuccessful, Hansen and his wife contacted the Snohomish County Sheriff’s department to report their conversation with Lisa Eckstrom, which prompted a police incident report of extortion. According to the Sheriff’s Incident Report, when the deputy contacted Lisa Eckstrom, she made claims that the mediator who was arranging the meeting with Hansen and Melissa Eckstrom was “nothing but a crooked social worker” and that Lisa Eckstrom planned on suing the mediator; and that if the deputy shared Lisa Eckstrom’s address with third parties, she would sue him.
- May to August 2016 – An attorney representing Melissa Eckstrom again contacted Sig Hansen with a threat to file a lawsuit publicly accusing Hansen of abuse.
- March 2017 – Currently, the lawsuit is in front of the Washington State Court of Appeals after the Superior Court agreed that it needed further review before proceeding. Attorneys for Sig Hansen have asked for the case to be dismissed before trial, as this issue was already litigated in a six-day trial that fully exonerated Sig and the law prohibits the same question from being tried again.
Statement attributed to Elizabeth Stanton, retired from a 25-year career at the Washington State Division of Children’s Services, where she devoted several years supervising and managing investigations of referrals from the community, including healthcare professionals and others, alleging child abuse and neglect, and working with law enforcement and the legal community.
“I was hired by the attorneys of both Sig Hansen and Lisa Eckstrom to monitor Mr. Hansen’s visitations with his then-infant daughter, Melissa.
“Throughout all my observations of Mr. Hansen, he was always a loving and dedicated father. He absolutely never showed any type of behavior consistent with abuse, which was reflected during the trial that exonerated him. In fact, I was deeply touched observing a young man who was having that first experience of bonding with his infant – it was very moving. I was also moved by the joy that Mr. Hansen’s mother showed interacting with her first grandchild, a little girl – something she never had, as a mother of all boys.
“The real tragedy is that ongoing accusations and acrimony from Lisa Eckstrom prevented Melissa and Sig from forming a relationship. Mr. Hansen and his mother and father were and are compassionate people devoted to their family and the broader fishing community; the epitome of the ethical, strong Norwegian family. In my professional and personal opinion, you could not find a more loving environment for a little girl to thrive.”
Statement attributed to Edgar Hansen, brother of Sig Hansen.
“There is never any doubt that Sig is a great guy and a wonderful father. He is absolutely innocent of any of these terrible lies.
“From the get-go, all Sig wanted was positive things for Melissa, to be a good father, and to bring her into our family where she would be welcomed and loved, but his ex-wife robbed him of that chance.
“This has been a set-up from the very beginning. We thought this nightmare was over after Sig was cleared in a court of law, but sickeningly, that was just the beginning.
“Over nearly 30 years, Lisa Eckstrom and her family have come after Sig and our family three times, trying to smear our good name and get our money. Now, they wait until the guy has a heart attack, and then kick him when he’s down. That’s the very definition of evil.”
Firmani + Associates, Inc.