Friday, February 25, 2011

Napa Hospital chief gets 248 years in prison

A year after police marched into California's largest psychiatric hospital and arrested its executive director, Claude Edward Foulk Jr. has been sentenced to 248 years in state prison. A jury had convicted him of sexually assaulting a foster son he adopted back in the 1960s.

Prosecutors said they identified more than a dozen other boys molested by Foulk over a 40-year period. Those cases were too old to prosecute. However, four of the now-grown men, all boys from abusive homes whom Foulk took in through the foster care system, testified against Foulk at trial.

"You are a sick, sick man," the judge told Foulk. "And the irony is you were director of the state hospital. How does that happen? You should have been the number one patient."

Foulk was appointed to head the beleaguered hospital in 2007, shortly after the U.S. Attorney General's Office negotiated a consent decree mandating sweeping changes aimed at improving patient care and reducing suicides and assaults. The federal investigation had revealed widespread civil rights violations at Napa, including generic "treatment" and massive overuse of seclusion and restraints. Napa is the only state psychiatric hospital in Northern California, and houses defendants undergoing competency restoration treatment and those found not guilty by reason of insanity.

At the time of his appointment, Faulk was lauded for his lengthy career in mental health services in both the public and private sectors.

5 comments:

  1. "Good riddance" is all I have to say.

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  2. Not that it makes a difference from a legal standpoint, but I am curious to know the ages of these boys at the time the offenses were committed.

    This is quite shocking news to hear about someone so prominent being charged and sentenced for such a crime. Still, this is a reminder to people that sex offenders (even child molesters) exist in all strata of society.

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  3. Researcherone:

    The links embedded in the post will take you to news stories with more details on the case. One of the victims testified the abuse began he was 9, and continued until he "fled" at age 21.

    The case is indeed a good reminder about the sex offenders all around us. Registries tend to obfuscate this reality, making parents feel more secure about certain upstanding individuals in the community than may be warranted.

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  4. Thank you, Karen,

    For some reason, the links didn't work when I clicked on them before. I have access now and will read further.

    By the way, this hasn't been the first reported instance of a doctor being charged with crimes against minors; I have seen several. This fact is disconcerting, but it is equally enlightening in that it obliterates the myth that a sex offender must meet a certain kind of profile. In turn, that is why I have an aversion to profiling, because the practice seems to be based on a set of assumptions that are not always true, as in this case.

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