It was a heart-wrenching day at the Long Beach Superior Court Tuesday as three men recounted years of extensive sexual abuse allegedly at the hands of the former head of the state's largest mental health facility, years that still haunt them.
"In the past five years, I knew that this day would come, and I wasn't the only victim," 27-year-old Jonathan F., the adoptive son of defendant Charles Edward Foulk Jr., told the court. "I knew he needs to pay for what he's done."
Jonathan and two other men, identified as Donald M. and Richard W., portrayed the 62-year-old defendant as cold and calculating, saying Foulk repeatedly sexually abused them when they were children, using manipulation, threats and intimidation to keep them quiet and compliant.
The trio painted a picture of a controlling man who dominated his victims mentally and culled most of his victims from foster care organizations or dysfunctional families, boys with no families of their own or no one to turn to.
"I thought I was being taken out of the foster system and being put in a good home ... with a loving father," Jonathan told the court. "I'm here to close this chapter on my life. I want to move on."
Jonathan was soft-spoken and appeared on the verge of tears throughout much of his testimony. When he recounted the first time his adoptive father sodomized him at the age of about 10 he became so overwhelmed that Judge J.D. Lord briefly halted the proceedings.
While it was clearly a difficult day for the witnesses, Foulk seemed to show no sign of emotion and quietly took notes or watched the witnesses.
The Long Beach native and former resident is charged with 35 felony counts of sexual abuse connected to Jonathan, one of two foster boys Foulk adopted.
The abuse began when Jonathan was about 9-and-a-half years old and lasted until he was 21, Jonathan said.
It happened most every weekend, usually in the mornings. Afterward, Jonathan said, he would get his breakfast and "watch cartoons."
In addition to Jonathan, a dozen other men with similar accusations talked to police and prosecutors, some of whom came forward after hearing news of Foulk's arrest in February. None of their cases, however, fall within the statute of limitations.
Those victims were either relatives of Foulk, foster children taken in by Foulk or friends of Foulk's foster children. All of the victims were boys, authorities said.
The charge against the single father - who was briefly married in the 1970s but has no biological children - includes 22 counts of forcible oral copulation, 11 counts of sodomy by use of force, and two counts of forcible lewd acts on a child.
Jonathan testified that he was put into the foster system at birth and never knew his biological parents or had any family. He had lived with about 10 foster families by the time he was taken in by Foulk, he recalled.
"I was ecstatic to be ... in a stable family and have a stable father figure," Jonathan recalled. "We had a great place in Huntington Beach ... we had a dog."
A few months later, when the two moved to a home on Santa Fe Avenue in Long Beach, things changed. Foulk began fondling Jonathan, first above his clothes and then under the clothing, Jonathan said.
The touching quickly progressed to making the boy touch himself and perform other sex acts, including oral copulation and sodomy, Jonathan said.
If Jonathan cried or showed signs of pain, Foulk would tell him to "shut up," Jonathan testified.
"I remember him telling me, 'This is normal. This is part of what a grown man needs to do."'
As a child, Jonathan knew something wasn't right, but he was afraid to say anything for many years lest his adoptive father follow through on threats to send him back to foster care and take away everything he had given to Jonathan, Jonathan said.
"He had such a power over me that (I thought) nobody would ever believe me, and I had to do whatever he said," Jonathan said.
Jonathan said his adoptive father used things Jonathan wanted, such as spending time with friends or getting a new toy, to make him "perform."
Foulk also controlled every aspect of Jonathan's life, very rarely let him see friends or leave the house, he said.
"I never had a normal childhood," Jonathan said. "I never had a true teenage experience."
Jonathan said he finally worked up the courage to tell his adoptive father to stop when he was 21. The two had moved to Sacramento by then, he said.
"I had come out to him, I told told him that I was gay and I knew this wasn't right ... and he blew up," Jonathan said. "He (said) 'You can't be gay, God doesn't make us this way, you have to get married and have kids."'
After that, Jonathan said, he ran away and cut Foulk from his life entirely.
Jonathan's recollections were similar to the other two witnesses who testified Tuesday, including Donald M.
Donald testified in graphic and often blunt detail about the abuse he said he suffered, adding that he wasn't alone.
"I could name ... 20 other guys" who were molested by Foulk, Donald said.
Donald said he and the other victims, including his brother, were also kept under constant control.
"We were never allowed to date," said Donald, who is now in his 40s. "There were no junior high dances, there was no high school prom because (Foulk) controlled of all of our lives".
Foulk's privately retained defense attorney, Richard Poland, said Tuesday his client denies all of the allegations.
Poland is scheduled to begin cross-examination of Jonathan F. Wednesday morning. In his cross examination of Donald, Poland asked the former foster child if he was ever adopted by the defendant.
"No, I'm glad I didn't have to have that name Foulk," Donald said.
Before Donald's testimony, the court heard from Donald's childhood friend, Richard W.
Richard, also now in his 40s, got the case against Foulk rolling after reporting the abuse to police when he learned Foulk was running the Napa State Hospital, a mental health facility that treats inmates committed to the hospital via civil and criminal court matters and where Foulk had access to sex offenders and youths, authorities said.
Foulk was arrested on the hospital grounds Feb. 24.
As executive director of the hospital, he had lived in a house on the grounds, near many of the patients, authorities said.
Prior to Napa State, Foulk worked for the state Department of Mental Health as the Chief of Program, Policy and Fiscal Support. Before that, he held positions as chief executive officer and chief operating officer of private community acute psychiatric hospitals, including CPC Horizon Hospital and Clinic in Pomona and CPC Alhambra Psychiatric Hospital in Rosemead, according to state documents.
State mental health officials said they were not notified of the investigation until Foulk's arrest and noted he was immediately fired upon his arrest.
Foulk has no prior criminal record, meaning he would not have been flagged during background checks for his work or for his applications a foster or adoptive parent.
In light of the allegations, the state Department of Consumer Affairs has had Foulk's nursing license, a license he has held since 1974, suspended.
If convicted on all counts, Foulk could face more than 280 years in prison.
Source: Tracy Manzer, "Emotional testimony in molestation trial of ex-mental hospital chief," Long Beach Press-Telegram.