Foster father charged with lewd acts on boy

Date: 2007-06-19

June 19, 2007, 12:00 AM By Michelle Durand
An English software designer accused of repeatedly molesting a 9-year-old foster child he was in the process of adopting planted a global tracking device in a gift to track the boy and tried setting up a plan to spirit him back to England, according to San Mateo County prosecutors who charged him with 25 counts of lewd and lascivious behavior.

Tarquin Craig Thomas, 41, is also charged with a misdemeanor charge of showing pornography to a child with the intent to cause arousal.

Judge Carl Holm refused to lower Thomas’ $1 million bail and ordered him back July 3 for a preliminary hearing.

Thomas is a citizen of England living in San Mateo who worked as a software designer for Barclays investment firm between September and November 2005. Thomas also had a vacation home in Oregon and arranged to have a 9-year-old boy needing foster care in that state to be placed with him in San Mateo, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Shortly after the boy arrived in San Mateo, prosecutors say Thomas began two actions — adoption proceedings and near-daily molestation. Thomas is also accused of having the boy pose nude by himself and with other adults.

After the boy reported the abuse and returned to Oregon, Thomas allegedly kept tabs on him through a global tracking device. The child was taken out of Thomas’ custody so quickly he left belongings at the San Mateo home. Thomas sent the items to Oregon, including the framed print of the two together which had the secret GPS chip, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Thomas contacted the boy’s biological mother with hopes of retrieving the boy and returning to England, Wagstaffe said.

The mother called authorities, sparking the investigation and Thomas’ May 24 arrest.

If convicted of all charges, Thomas faces up to 54 years in prison, Wagstaffe said.

Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.



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