Sexual Abuse Survivor Revived Memories of Decades Old Molestation

The head of Napa State Hospital’s recent firing was the result of an abuse survivor’s chance meeting.

The survivor, who as a boy lived nearby Napa State Hospital’s ex-head Claude Edward Foulk, was visiting the hospital as part of his job as a vendor when he happened to make eye contact with Foulk. This meeting triggered memories of alleged abuse by Foulk from nearly four decades ago. The man immediately told his wife, they went to the police, and the investigation was launched.

On Friday, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office filed court documents providing details about Foulk’s alleged history of molestation. Authorities alleged that Foulk molested at least five victims but are now looking at eight additional allegations that date to 1965.

According to court records, Foulk allegedly molested a foster child in his care from 1973 to 1985. In 1974, prosecutors allege, Foulk molested a friend of the foster child, who as an adult went to police last September after the encounter in the Napa hospital.

In 1977, Foulk allegedly molested a friend of a second foster child living at his home in Long Beach. Prosecutors allege that he masturbated in front of two children in the early 1990s, asking the minors to participate.

All these cases fell before the statute of limitations, so prosecutors said they could not file charges.

Foulk is being prosecuted for alleged molestations of his son, which began in 1992 and continued through 2003, according to charges.

The attorney for the man who first alerted police praised Long Beach detectives for taking the accusations seriously and conducting an exhaustive investigation.

Sexual abuse attorney John Manly also credits the police; “I give the Long Beach police a huge amount of the credit,” said Manly. “They went after this case even though it was decades ago.”