Plumbing New Depths
Reality-TV Fisherman Edgar Hansen’s Sex-Assault Deal
He’s one of the stars of the hit Discovery show ‘Deadliest Catch.’ But why was crab fisherman Edgar Hansen able to cut a no-prison-time deal for assaulting a 16-year-old girl?
Reality-TV fisherman Edgar Hansen has got a let-off.
The 47-year-old star of The Deadliest Catch admitted kissing a 16-year-old girl and touching her genitals for the purpose of his own “sexual gratification,” but won’t face prison time over the assault after a plea deal was reached with prosecutors in Washington state’s Snohomish County.
“I committed this assault for the purpose of my own sexual gratification,” Hansen said in a handwritten statement reported by the Seattle Times, “I am very sorry for that conduct and I have commenced treatment to ensure that nothing like this assault ever happens again.”
As part of the deal, he received a 364-day suspended jail sentence and was ordered to pay court fines of $1,653.
Hansen is the deck boss of a Seattle-based crabbing boat skippered by his older brother, Sig Hansen, and the brothers have gained fame on a cable-TV series that follows them and other fishermen harvesting crabs from the Bering Sea.
The Discovery channel show has received praise for its compelling portrayal of life at sea. Camera crews often track boats on missions that last two weeks or more, and the show has covered issues such as the epidemic of opioid addiction among fishermen, financial insecurity, and isolation.
However, now the Hansen brothers’ off-screen lives are drawing as much attention as the grueling lives of the fishing expeditions tracked by the show.
Hansen’s guilty plea comes less than two weeks after his older brother received a one-year deferred sentence and probation for assaulting an Uber driver after a night out.
Sig Hansen was ordered to stop drinking and undergo alcohol treatment.
The Seattle Times reports that Sig is also now awaiting a court decision on whether or not a sexual-abuse lawsuit brought by his estranged daughter, Melissa Eckstrom, can proceed to trial.
Eckstrom claims her father sexually abused her as a toddler. Hansen has vehemently denied the claims, the Seattle Times says, calling Eckstrom’s suit “an old-fashioned shakedown.”
The Seattle Times says that Edgar Hansen’s criminal case “largely was handled behind the scenes. Although Mountlake Terrace police forwarded a case to prosecutors for review several months ago, Hansen wasn’t publicly arraigned until Wednesday—at the same time he also entered his guilty plea. A judge sentenced Hansen two days later.”