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Ex-hospital chief accused of child molestation

February 25, 2010 12:39:43 AM PST
A former mental health hospital director is accused in a child molestation case. There are now five alleged victims. Claude Foulk, the embattled former director of Napa State Hospital, is facing new allegations of child molestation. In Long Beach, police are expanding their investigation.Long Beach Police began this investigation when a 39-year-old man came forward and said he had been molested by his foster dad when he was 10 years old in Long Beach.

Police then proceeded to follow leads for months. They have uncovered four other alleged victims and they believe there could me more.

Claude Edward Foulk was the executive director of Napa State Hospital, a psychiatric institution, the state's largest mental health facility.

"This suspect is believed to be involved in many, many years' worth of child molestation," said Long Beach Police Lieutenant Alex Avila.

The Long Beach Police Department's Sex Crimes Detail released a picture to jog memories of potential victims.

Foulk was a foster parent who lived in several Long Beach locations and worked in at least two mental health facilities, including hospitals in Rosemead and Pomona. He is charged with 35 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with five different juveniles, including his own foster children.

"We have three of the four that have confirmed with us, that have told us that they were victims," said Avila.

According to the California Department of Mental Health, none of the suspected victims were clients of any hospital. However, police cannot rule out the possibility that Foulk may have had contact with a patient.

"That is a concern as well," said Avila. "He was in a position of trust. It is our understanding through that position, it could be that he came across potential victims."

But Foulk's pattern, according to police, was to prey on children who lived near his home.

"We fear that he used his foster kids to befriend neighborhood kids to lure them into the residence," said Avila.

Foulk's bail is set at $3.5 million. His first court appearance is set for Friday in Long Beach.

Police are looking for more information related to Foulk. Long Beach Police Sex Crimes Detail: (562) 570-7368.