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LA Times- “Napa State Hospital chief is accused of molesting his adopted son” & other fostered boys under his “care”

Huge story out of California yesterday.

See the LA Times for this story, Napa State Hospital chief is accused of molesting his adopted son.

Reporting from San Francisco and Los Angeles – The executive director of Napa State Hospital, a Northern California mental institution that houses mentally ill criminals, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of molesting his adopted son for more than a decade, authorities said.

Long Beach Police Department detectives took Claude Edward Foulk, 62, into custody Wednesday morning at the hospital after a lengthy investigation into alleged molestations both in Southern California and Northern California.

Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged Foulk with 35 felony counts, including 22 counts of forcible oral copulation and 11 counts of sodomy by use of force.

Authorities said they have evidence that Foulk molested at least five children — including some foster children in his care. But they said the statute of limitations in the other cases already has expired, so no charges could be brought.

Foulk used his position to gain access:

Long Beach Police Cmdr. Jeff Johnson said officials began building their case in September, when one of Foulk’s former foster children contacted them with details about abuse he allegedly had suffered decades earlier. The man, who is now in his 40s and lived in Long Beach at the time of the alleged abuse, came forward after learning that Foulk was now heading the hospital, authorities said.

Detectives believe that Foulk used his position working at mental facilities in Southern California to make connections with children. Johnson said Foulk also came into contact with alleged victims who lived in his neighborhood.

“He used his position of trust not only as a parental figure but as a healthcare professional to obtain his victims,” Johnson said. “He was able to not only use strategic threats of force or intimidation, but use monetary as well as other rewards to his victims and their caretakers to prevent discovery of his crimes.”

Detectives said the alleged victims came in contact with Foulk as far back as 1975, when he lived in Long Beach and other locations around the region. Johnson said most of the alleged incidents occurred before 1988, which is the cutoff under the statute of limitations.

The charges filed this week involve his adopted son, now in his mid-20s, who alleges that Foulk molested him from 1992 to 2006.

This piece from the Contra Costa Times, Official charged in molestation, contains  a  few more details:

The 62-year-old accused child molester was arrested at the hospital’s campus at 8:30 a.m. by Long Beach Police Department Sex Crimes detectives, said Deputy District Attorney Lesley Klein.

The former Executive Director of the hospital, who usually went by his middle name, was arrested on a $3.5 million warrant issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Monday and was driven from Napa to Long Beach Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to be arraigned by no later than Friday, Robison said.

Robison said the victim was 10 years old when the alleged molestation began in 1992 and the abuse continued until 2003.

The article includes just a little more detail about the other alleged victims:

Investigators have found at least four other alleged victims with incidents dating back to 1975, said Sgt. Dina Zapalski, a Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman.

All the victims were boys, the sergeant said, and all but one were located in Long Beach. The only alleged victim not tied to Long Beach was molested in Rancho Murieta, a Northern California community, Zapalski said.

It is believed there may be additional victims who have yet to come forward:

And police said they are still searching for victims and urge anyone who may have been a victim to come forward.

“The investigators have reason to believe that there may be more victims we do not know about,” the sergeant said, adding that anyone who is a victim or who knows of a victim should immediately call the Sex Crimes Detail at 562-570-7368.

The hospital was quick to point out that none of the currently known set of victims were directly related to his work there:

Nancy Kincaid, communications director for the California State Department of Mental Health, confirmed Wednesday that Foulk was executive director at the state’s largest mental hospital until his termination Wednesday morning.

Kincaid said Foulk had worked at the Napa hospital since March 1, 2007.

She said the hospital was not notified of the investigation until Wednesday morning, when police arrived at the campus and arrested Foulk.

She also stressed that none of the victims were tied to his work at the hospital, which was confirmed by police.

Zapalski said all of the victims were known to Foulk, but none of them were connected to the Napa State Hospital.

Investigators, however, declined to release the exact relationship between Foulk and the victims or any further details about the case, Zapalski said.

also see Director of state hospital that treats child molesters accused of repeatedly raping foster child [Updated]

Prosecutors asked that bail be set at $3.5 million.

If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 280 years in state prison.

An appointee of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Foulk allegedly began molesting the then-10-year-old boy in the fall of 1992, shortly after taking him in as a foster child. They lived in Long Beach at the time, authorities said.

The molestation allegedly continued through 2003, after Foulk and the youth moved to Walnut.

Prosecutors said there are “numerous” additional victims “who fall outside the statute of limitations.” According to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office, they cannot pursue cases of molestation that occurred before 1988 because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

and Detectives believe hospital director molested at least five children

The arrested shocked some officials at Napa State Hospital, where Foulk has been director since 2007. Hours after his arrest, state officials announced that they had terminated Foulk’s employment.

and Claud Foulk, CA hospital head, arrested on 35 counts of molestation

Foulk was appointed director of Napa State Hospital in 2007. Hospital officials declined to comment.

“We did not know anything about this until Long Beach police came to the hospital and arrested him this morning,” said Nancy Kincaid, spokeswoman for the California Department of Mental Health.

She noted the alleged incidents predated Foulk’s arrival at Napa State Hospital.

“He was not in one-on-one contact with patients,” Kincaid said. “He had no clinical hospital privileges, so he wouldn’t have been offering treatment.”

Dr. Stephen W. Mayberg, director of the state mental health department, said Foulk had been fired.

This article also goes into some of his previous employment history:

Prior to taking the position in Napa, Foulk worked for the state Department of Mental Health as the Chief of Program, Policy and Fiscal Support, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported. Before that, he held positions as chief executive officer and chief operating officer of private community acute psychiatric hospitals, including CPC Horizon Hospital and Clinic in Pomona and CPC Alhambra Psychiatric Hospital in Rosemead, according to a Department of Mental Health news release.

Napa State Hospital is one of the largest state mental health facilities in the United States, with about 1,260 beds for patients. Many of the hospital’s patients come from the criminal justice system – including those found not guilty by reason of insanity. No juveniles or child molesters are treated at Napa.

I wish I had something more insightful to say about all this, but this morning at least, I don’t.

Obviously, these initial accounts don’t contain a great deal of detail (an aspect many people have commented upon.)

An important facet going forward will be learning about the foster boys left to his “care” and how he was given access to them in the first place.

Did any of these boys try to come forward before the statute of limitations expired only to be ignored?

It’s early, at this point, there’s simply too much we don’t know.

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