YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A settlement has been reached between the York County Regional Police Department and Marisa Vicosa, the mother of two York County girls who were shot and killed by their father in 2021.
After that tragedy, there were questions surrounding the police department’s handling of the case. A judge approved the settlement on Thursday, March 23.
The $3 million settlement will go to Marisa Vicosa and the estates of her late daughters, while the rest will go towards attorney fees.
On Nov. 12, 2021, Marisa Vicosa took her daughters to their father Robert Vicosa’s home. Investigators say Robert Vicosa and another woman, Tia Bynum, abducted, drugged, and sexually assaulted Marisa. They also threatened to kill the two girls if she tried to leave.
Marisa was eventually able to seek help from the police. But, according to the settlement petition, Police Chief Timothy Damon would not approve surveillance of the property where Robert Vicosa was keeping the girls.
However, Chief Damon did approve a search warrant, and a judge granted an Emergency Protection from Abuse Order. However, police waited at least 18 hours to serve both. According to the petition, that was because Chief Damon wanted to wait until he thought the girls would be on a school bus.
The girls were homeschooled, and by the time police served the order, Robert and his daughters were gone. A manhunt followed, which ended near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border with Robert Vicosa killing Bynum, his daughters and himself.
The settlement petition details three federal and state claims against the police department over the “mishandling of this matter.” Claims were filed on behalf of each girl’s estate.
Under the settlement, $800,000 will go to each estate. Marisa Vicosa filed an additional claim, and she will receive $400,000. The remaining $1 million will cover attorney fees.
In the petition, Marisa’s attorney said a settlement would avoid a lengthy court case that could take years.
In the settlement agreement, York County Regional Police Department disputed the claims and denied any responsibility for them.