Psych Crime Reporter

February 23, 2011

Former state psychiatric hospital director gets 248 years prison for sex abuses; courtroom applauds as max sentence handed down

LONG BEACH, Calif. — A former state mental hospital director was sentenced Wednesday to 248 years in prison for molesting his adopted son over eight years as part of what prosecutors claimed was a pattern of abuse that spanned four decades and ensnared a dozen young boys.

Superior Court Judge James B. Pierce called defendant Claude Foulk, 63, a “sick, sick man” and said he should have been the No. 1 patient at the mental hospital he oversaw.

The judge drew applause from the courtroom after issuing the maximum possible sentence.

“Someone was selected out of an adoption book, totally selected at a very young age, and made a sex slave,” the judge lectured Foulk. “I don’t think the word father or dad belongs in the same sentence with Mr. Foulk. A father or dad couldn’t do these things.”

The victim is now 27 and living in Atlanta. The Associated Press is not naming the man because it has a policy not to identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.

Foulk, the former head of Napa State Hospital, was convicted of 20 counts of forcible oral copulation, nine counts of sodomy and two counts of lewd acts for abuse between 1992 and 2001. He was acquitted of two counts each of sodomy and oral copulation for charged acts that occurred after the victim was 18.

“It’s beyond the comprehension of most human beings,” the judge said. “It’s not unlike slavery of old, to go through the (foster) system and obtain a human being and attempt to mold that individual to satisfy one’s own sexual desires. Disgusting. This one has got to be the worst. It’s the worst of the worst.”

Foulk, who has repeatedly denied the allegations, testified at trial that his adopted son had a history of lying.

Superior Court Judge James B. Pierce called defendant Claude Foulk, 63, a “sick, sick man” and said he should have been the No. 1 patient at the mental hospital he oversaw.

Prosecutors said another 11 men 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.

During a weeklong trial, five adult men testified that Foulk had abused them for years. They claimed the man they knew as an uncle and foster father bought them pizza and took them 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 until he was 21, telling him it was how a man shows love.

Foulk worked as a nurse, obtained a master’s degree 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 to have trouble forming lasting relationships.

Foulk’s attorney Richard Poland argued there was a lack of physical evidence.

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

Source: “Former Hospital Director Sentenced to 248 Years for Sex Abuse,” Associated Press, February 23, 2011.

February 25, 2010

California psych hospital chief arrest only the latest: A partial list of psychiatric child molesters

The February 24th  arrest of Claude E. Foulk, the (former) executive director of California’s Napa State Psychiatric Hospital on 35 felony counts of molestation involving a former foster child is, on its own, shocking.  However, this kind of conduct by psychiatric and mental health “professionals” is, unfortunately, rather common.  Here is a partial list of some of the more notable such cases:

On December 13, 2001, Indiana elementary school psychologist Stephen T. Serino was found guilty of 26 counts of child molestation and was later sentenced to 90 years in prison.  He had molested the son of a family friend 15 times over two years, beginning when the boy was 11 years old, while acting like “a father figure to the boy.”  Serino, who conducted psychological assessments in several school districts, was concurrently prosecuted in a neighboring county for sex acts with two minors, one of whom was a student he had assessed and later took the troubled student to his home, where he violated him.  He was sentenced in September 2002 to 140 years prison.  Hendricks County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie LeMay-Luken, referring to his first sentence, said,  “I can guarantee that when he is released, if he is alive, he will commit the offense again.  He is a serial pedophile.”

Source:   “Molester’s term in prison reduced,” The Indianapolis Star, November 21, 2003 and “Man found guilty on child sex charges,” The Indianapolis Star, August 24, 2002 and “Serino receives 385 years in prison, Linton Daily Citizen, December 28, 2001.

Alan J. Horowitz: On July 27, 1992 New Jersey psychiatrist Alan J. Horowitz was criminally convicted of sexually abusing an 9-year-old boy who had been his patient and given a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. In addition to this case there were also charges that he sodomized three boys and sexually abused a girl between the years of 1990 and 1991. Horowitz had been convicted of sexual abuse once before in Maryland in 1983 for sexually molesting two brothers, aged 8 and 12. He was given a five-year suspended sentence on that case. A review of Horowitz’s background revealed that he had a 20 year history of sexual abuse incidents with young patients starting as far back as 1971 while a young medical resident at Duke University. Horowitz tried to justify his crimes by stating that he was a “normal pedophile” and that he had not used force on the children.
In September 1998 Michigan psychologist Stephen Viola, pleaded guilty to sexually touching two young boys he was counseling.  The circuit judge sentenced Viola to six months jail, telling him he should have followed the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath, which states, “First, do no harm.”  His license was also revoked and he was prevented from reapplying for it for three years.  As required by his plea, Viola also registered himself with Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry.

Source: Jessie Halladay, “Psychologist sentenced in sex case,” Times Herald, 5 September 1998.

William Lee Fuchs, a North Carolina psychologist was sentenced in August 1995 to 21 years prison for 49 sex crimes involving children.  One patient, who as a boy had been sent to Fuchs for counseling when his parents were going through a divorce, testified that at his second session with Fuchs, he broke down sobbing about his family situation.  “He (Fuchs) began to hug me, caress me a man would a woman.  He began to kiss my face and lips.”  After that, he began to perform “oral sex on me.”

Source: Andrea E. Ashby, “Victim, dad of victim testify,” Daily Herald, August 7, 1995.

California psychiatrist James H. White was criminally convicted of drugging a male patient until he was unconscious then sexually molesting him and sentenced to nearly seven years in prison.  Police discovered pictures and a videotape of the sexual molestation.  White was released on bail pending his criminal trial when he fled the country.  He was later captured in Texas with a 15-year-old boy.  During the criminal trial yet another man came forward with allegations that White had adopted him out of a mental institution when he was 16 years old and then proceeded to sexually abuse him for nearly 20 years.

Source: “Doctor sentenced in sex case,” Star Free Press, January 10, 1991; Jim Carlton and John Hurst, “Camp’s Psychiatrist Held in Sex Inquiry,” Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1990.

Psychologist Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, who worked under contract for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for 17 years and was a recognized adoption expert, was convicted on charges of sexually molesting his foster son for six years, starting the first day that the Department of Children and Family Services placed the then 8-year-old boy in Bourguignon’s home.  He fled the U.S. prior to trial and was sentenced June 30, 1993 in absentia to 36 years prison.  He was extradited back to the U.S. from Tunisia in 2004 to serve his sentence.

Source: “Counselor sentenced for foster son abuse,” Chicago Tribune, July 1, 1993 and “Hearing set for convicted child abuser,” Pioneer Press, January 29, 2004.

Robert Bruce Craft, a Georgia psychologist under contract to the state’s Department of Children and Family Services was sentenced to 20 years in prison in May, 2000, having been convicted of 99 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, 15 counts of felony child molestation and three counts misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a child.  Craft was found to possess over 600 photos he had taken of children exposing their genitals.  Twelve of his photographic subjects were children that were referred to him for treatment by the DCF.  Though the Court of Appeals reversed 71 of the sexual exploitation convictions, they did not reduce the 20-year sentence.

Source: “Psychologist Convicted in Child Cases,” Fulton County Daily Report, March 27, 2000 and “Judge finds psychologist guilty jurist rules after defense declines to call witnesses in child sexual exploitation case,” The Augusta Chronicle, March 24, 2000.

On July 23, 1999 California psychiatrist Burnell G. Forgey pleaded guilty to five counts of molesting a teenage boy who was his patient.  Forgey spent over a year in jail and surrendered his medical license.  Forgey worked as a psychiatrist for troubled youth group homes and was arrested after police discovered that he and a registered sex offender named James Lee Crummel had drugged and forced a teenage patient to have sex with them on numerous occasions. Crummel had met Forgey when he was getting therapy from him and had been hired by Forgey to be his assistant.  Forgey not only committed sex crimes himself but allowed a dangerous sex offender – with a rap sheet spanning decades of sexual assaults and murder against children – access to numerous vulnerable children and teenagers as he took Crummel along when he saw patients and allowed him unsupervised access to the children.

Source: Thao Hua, “Arraignment Postponed for Ex-psychiatrist,” Los Angeles Times, May 7,1998; Thao Hua and Scott Martelle, “Other Possible Molest Victims of Psychiatrist Are Being Sought,” Los Angeles Times, May 6, 1998; “Crummel,” City News Service, Sept. 17, 1999; John McDonald, “Doctor Sentenced in molestation,” The Orange County Register, July 24, 1999.

Psychologist Stephen Andrew Gilmore was sentenced March 9, 2004 to nine months jail and ordered to pay restitution of $10,000 to the victim, a girl he admitted sexually abusing, beginning when she was seven years old.  Gilmore had been in a relationship with the girl’s mother from 1990 to 1993, living with them in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Gilmore would get the seven-year-old to walk on his back for the purpose of massage and, after one such occasion, asked her to masturbate him, showing her how when she expressed reluctance.  The judge revealed that the girl “became shut-down and reclusive” and began to had suicidal thoughts by age 12.

Source: “Psychologist jailed for abusing child,” New Zealand Herald, March 9, 2004.

On August 24, 2006, Texas child psychiatrist Donald Hughes entered a plea of guilty to charges of indecency involving young patients.  Hughes is expected to receive five years in prison for each of three counts as part of a plea bargain.  Hughes was first arrested April 22, 2004, and charged with two counts of indecency with a child after two patients alleged that he fondled them in April 2003.  A third victim came forward later, after his mother read a news article about the first two allegations.  He was sentenced September 5, 2006 to three five-year prison sentences.

Source: “Child psychiatrist gets prison terms,” Star-Telegram, September 6, 2006 and “Child psychiatrist enters guilty plea,” Star-Telegram, August 24, 2006.
On February 3, 2010, The Texas Medical Board indefinitely suspended child psychiatrist William Olmstead for failure to comply with terms of his Board-ordered probation, which required, among other things, that he submit to a psychiatric evaluation.  Olmstead pleaded no contest in January 2009 to indecency with a child and was sentenced to six years deferred adjudication (meaning if he complied with terms of his criminal probation—which is unrelated to the probation of his license by the medical board—then the conviction would removed from his record).  He was also placed on the sex offender registry. According to reports, he was charged after a young girl who lived next door said he’d molested her.

Source: “Board suspends medical license of child psychiatrist who is registered sex offender,” Dallas Morning News, February 4, 2010.

Director of state psychiatric hospital Director of state hospital arrested, charged with repeatedly raping foster child

From a press release issued by the Long Beach Police Department February 24, 2010:

In September 2009, Long Beach Detectives from the Sex Crimes Detail began investigating a child molestation case that occurred in the City of Long Beach from 1975 – 2006 involving 5 victims known to the suspect.  The investigation led investigators to Claude Edward Foulk a 63-year-old Napa resident.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2010 Sex Crimes Detectives arrested Foulk in Napa California on a $3.5 million dollar warrant issued by The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for 35 counts of Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child.

The investigation is on going and detectives believe there could be additional victims or witnesses.  Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Sex Crimes Detail at (562) 570-7368.

From a press release issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office February 24, 2010:

The executive director of the Napa State Hospital was arrested today on a felony complaint for arrest warrant, charging him with sexually molesting a foster child for more than a decade when they lived in Long Beach.

Claude Edward Foulk, 62 (dob 12-19-47), was arrested at the Napa facility this morning by Long Beach police, said Deputy District Attorney Lesley Klein, deputy in charge of the Long Beach VIP program. He was charged Tuesday in case NA084803 with 35 felony counts, including 22 counts of forcible oral copulation, 11 counts of sodomy by use of force, and two counts of forcible lewd act on a child. Prosecutors are asking bail be set at $3.5 million.

Foulk, who was appointed to the position in March of 2007, allegedly began sexually molesting the 10-year-old boy in the fall of 1992, shortly after Foulk took him in as a foster child. The sexual molestation allegedly continued through 2003, after he and the youth moved to Walnut.

Klein said there are numerous other alleged victims who fall outside the statute of limitations. Police were alerted to the allegations of sexual assault last year after one alleged victim, now in his 40s, discovered Foulk was in charge of a hospital in Northern California. The hospital houses inmates who are sexual offenders.

If convicted on all counts, Foulk faces more than 280 years in prison.

Arraignment information will be released later.

From the Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2010:

The executive director of Napa State Hospital, a Northern California mental institution whose patients include convicted child molesters, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexually molesting a foster child in his care for more than a decade.

Claude Edward Foulk, 62  had been charged Tuesday with 35 felony counts, including 22 counts of forcible oral copulation, 11 counts of sodomy by use of force and two counts of forcible lewd act on a child, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

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.

Police were alerted to the allegations of sexual assault last year after one alleged victim, now in his 40s, discovered that Foulk was in charge of a hospital in Northern California.

Neither Foulk nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

State officials released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying Foulk had been removed from his job.

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