‘Deadliest Catch’ star Sig Hansen won’t face criminal charges for alleged abuse

A civil lawsuit against Hansen brought by his estranged daughter, Melissa Eckstrom, remains on hold until the state Court of Appeals decides whether a King County judge’s ruling that would allow the civil case to go to trial is legally sound.

Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen won’t face criminal charges on claims that he sexually abused his toddler daughter nearly three decades ago, Snohomish County prosecutors said Tuesday after conducting a review of old case materials.

“We have concluded that it’s outside our charging standards and we’re going to maintain our original decision not to charge Mr. Hansen,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Baldock said.

Meantime, a civil lawsuit against Hansen brought by his estranged daughter, Melissa Eckstrom, remains on hold until the state Court of Appeals decides whether a King County judge’s ruling that would allow the civil case to go to trial is legally sound.

Hansen, 50, a Shoreline resident who has gained fame as the hard-charging Norwegian-American skipper of the Seattle-based fishing vessel The Northwestern on the cable TV series “The Deadliest Catch,” has vehemently denied the allegations, labeling them “an old-fashioned shakedown.”

“I am not surprised that the conclusion Snohomish County prosecutors reached today is the same as the one they reached back in 1990,” Hansen said in a statement issued by a spokesman Tuesday. “Following that decision, a King County judge ruled — after a six-day trial — that I was innocent of the horrible charges concocted by my ex-wife. The judge and court-appointed experts examined all the of evidence in the case and reached the same conclusion: that the allegations simply were not true.”

A lawyer for Eckstrom said Tuesday his client also wasn’t surprised by the prosecutors’ decision.

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“We sort of expected it,” attorney Lincoln Beauregard said. “Melissa was not optimistic that they would charge him, and we believe they (prosecutors) were professional in how they handled this review. But we are disappointed that they didn’t interview Melissa because we think her testimony is key.”

The allegations against Hansen date back to the early 1990s, when he was going through a contentious divorce and custody battle with his first wife, Lisa Eckstrom. Their daughter, Melissa, was 2 years old when she allegedly complained to relatives that her father had touched her inappropriately during a visit with him, according to records. The girl’s complaints eventually led to medical exams and investigations by police and state child-welfare social workers.

After the allegations emerged, Edmonds police arrested Hansen in the summer of 1990, records show. Prosecutors later reviewed the case at least three times in 1990 and 1991, opting each time not to file charges because of proof problems.

“This is not to suggest we do not…

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