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Prosecutors amend complaint against former mental hospital director to include other alleged victims [Updated]

February 26, 2010 | 10:07 am

Prosecutors have amended the criminal complaint against a former state mental hospital director accused of molesting his adopted son to allow alleged victims outside the statute of limitations to testify against him.

In the amended complaint filed Thursday, prosecutors said Claude Edward Foulk, the former executive director of Napa State Hospital, molested a different boy, a "foster son," from the age of 9 to 21 from 1973 to 1985. They claimed he also allegedly molested the foster son's 10- or 11-year-old friend, and another friend of a foster child in 1977.

Foulk is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles County court Friday on charges he molested his adopted son. Prosecutors amended the complaint so that the other alleged victims could possibly testify against Foulk in proceedings regarding his adopted son.

In the amended complaint, L.A. County prosecutors also claim Foulk masturbated in the presence of two boys, ages 14 and 15, who were friends of Foulk's foster child.

Foulk, 62, was arrested after a lengthy investigation into alleged molestations in Southern California and Northern California.

[Updated at 11:43 a.m.: Foulk pleaded not guilty Friday to 35 felony charges of child molestation involving his adopted son and was ordered held in lieu of $3.5 million.

A Long Beach Superior Court judge rejected a defense attorney's request to reduce Foulk's bail to $500,000, and the judge approved a request from the state medical board to suspend Foulk's license to practice nursing. A March 12 preliminary hearing date was set for the molestation charges.]

L.A. 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 Foulk molested at least five children all under 14, including foster children in his care.

They said the statute of limitations in the other cases had expired. The incidents occurred between 1975 and 2004 in Long Beach and 2004 to 2006 in a Sacramento suburb. Hours after his arrest Wednesday, state officials announced that they had terminated Foulk's employment as the director of a hospital that houses mentally ill criminals.

According to Long Beach Police Cmdr. Jeff Johnson, investigators began building their case in September when one of Foulk's former foster children contacted them with details about abuse he allegedly suffered decades earlier.

The man, who is now in his 40s, came forward after learning that Foulk was heading the hospital, authorities said. Detectives believe that Foulk used his position working at mental hospitals in Southern California to make connections with children.

Johnson said Foulk also came into contact with alleged victims who lived in his neighborhood. Detectives said Foulk met some of his alleged victims as far back as 1975. 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 Foulk molested him from 1992 to 2006. Some employees at Napa State Hospital said they were concerned because Foulk lived in a house on the grounds next to a day-care center.

The charges do not include allegations of molestation at the Napa hospital, but Long Beach police said they believe there may be more victims in L.A. County and Northern California.

Prosecutors said that Foulk could have molested as many as 13 children dating back as far as 1965. Since Foulk's arrest on Wednesday, four more people have come forward with new allegations that Long Beach police detectives are reviewing.

-- Richard Winton

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