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Professional Child Abuse

February 25, 2010 permalink

Claude Edward Foulk was the director of a California mental facility, Napa State Hospital, one of America's largest. As such he supervised persons responsibile for determining whether to free patients or keep them incarcerated, administering psychotropic drugs to patients for their benefit (or harm), and advising courts on the mental competence of accused persons.

Mr Foulk had another life as foster parent. In that role he is accused of molesting many boys in his care. Only the most recent case is the basis of prosecution, the older ones are barred by statute-of-limitations. This is another example of big abuse cases coming from professionals, not parents.



Director of Calif. mental hospital arrested for investigation of molesting his foster child

Claude Foulk
FILE - In this photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009 Claude Foulk, executive director, gestures during an interview in his office at the Napa State Hospital in Napa, Calif. Foulk was arrested Wednesday Feb. 24, 2010 after a five-month investigation for allegedly molesting a foster child in his care for more than a decade.
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) (Eric Risberg, ASSOCIATED PRESS / December 9, 2009)
CHRISTOPHER WEBER Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The executive director of a Northern California mental hospital was arrested Wednesday for investigation of molesting his foster child for more than a decade.

Napa State Hospital Director Claude Edward Foulk, 62, was arrested at the hospital after a five-month investigation by Long Beach police.

The hospital fired him after he was charged Tuesday with 35 felony counts, punishable by up to 280 years in prison.

Foulk was booked into custody in Long Beach. Prosecutors asked that bail be set at $3.5 million, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Lesley Klein said.

The investigation was started in September after a man now in his 40s came forward, Long Beach Police Sgt. Dina Zapalski said.

The crimes were "not work-related," Zapalski said.

Foulk is accused of sexually molesting the boy shortly after taking him in as a foster child at age 10 in 1992. The alleged crimes continued through 2004 after Foulk and the youth moved to Walnut, according to the district attorney's office.

Investigators were also looking into claims from four other alleged victims in Long Beach and Rancho Murietta in Northern California dating from 1975 to 2006, before Foulk began working at Napa State Hospital, Zapalski said.

Prosecutors said the statute of limitations could prevent them from pursuing some other alleged cases.

It could not be immediately determined if Foulk had an attorney.

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.

Napa State Hospital Administrator Dolly Matteucci is serving as acting executive director while the department searches for Foulk's replacement, Kincaid said.

At the time of Foulk's appointment to Napa State Hospital he was lauded for his lengthy career in mental health services in both the private and public sectors.

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.

Associated Press Writers Denise Petski and Shaya Tayefe Mohajer in Los Angeles, Terence Chea in San Francisco and Donald Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Addendum: Convicted.



Ex-hospital director guilty of sex abuse

Claude Foulk
File-This undated file photo provided by the Long Beach, Calif., Police Department shows Claude Foulk, the former director of a mental health hospital who was charged with molesting his foster child is also accused of abusing another of his foster children decades earlier. The adopted son of Foulk, said at his trial on Friday in emotional testimony that his father is a monster who abused him for more than a decade and destroyed his life, forcing him to flee home at age 21.
(AP Photo/Long Beach Police Department,File)

LONG BEACH, Calif. — A former California state mental hospital director was found guilty Thursday of multiple counts of sexually abusing his adopted son in what prosecutors contend was a pattern of preying on young boys that spanned four decades.

A Superior Court jury convicted 63-year-old Claude Foulk of 31 of 35 counts of sex crimes, including lewd and lascivious acts on a child and sodomy by use of force.

Prosecutors say another 11 men also came forward to claim Foulk molested them as children dating back to 1965, but only the son's case could be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations.

Foulk was fired from his post at Napa State Hospital after his arrest last year.

He could face a maximum sentence of up to 248 years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 23.

During an emotional weeklong trial, five now-grown men testified that Foulk abused them for years. They recalled how the man they knew as an uncle and foster father bought them pizza and took them up to a mountain cabin before forcing them to engage in sex acts.

One of Foulk's two adopted sons told jurors Foulk abused him from the time he was 9 years old until he was 21, telling him it was how a man shows love.

The Associated Press is not naming the witnesses because it has a policy not to identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.

One of the men said he was overjoyed about the verdict.

"My heart was beating so fast right before she read it," he said. "He'll rot in jail for the rest of his life and that makes me feel so good."

Foulk, who watched the testimony with a blank stare, took the stand in his own defense and denied the allegations.

Foulk worked as a nurse, obtained a master's in business administration and held previous state jobs before working at Napa State Hospital. He was a foster parent to two boys and adopted two sons.

Prosecutor Danette Gomez argued that Foulk used the foster care system to acquire boys to meet his insatiable sexual appetite, knowing they had no parents to turn to.

She said the years of horrific abuse led the boys to turn to alcohol and drugs and have trouble forming lasting relationships.

Foulk's attorney Richard Poland said Foulk's son, whose testimony was the heart of the case, had a history of lying. He also argued there was a lack of physical evidence, noting there were no medical reports or photographs to back up the allegations.

The investigation into Foulk was sparked when someone reported sexual abuse to police after learning Foulk was head of Napa State Hospital.

Source: Houston Chronicle

Addendum: On February 23, 2011 Foulk was sentenced to 248 years in prison.