exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Former foster father charged


Former foster father charged

June 13, 2006


A former foster father was charged Monday with possessing child pornography and taking explicit pictures of a teenage girl, although investigators aren't yet sure whether he can legally be charged with sexually abusing her.

Investigators are also still trying to determine whether Enrique E. Fabregas, 53, molested a younger girl in his Redmond home. That girl, now 12, has been reluctant to say anything that might get him in trouble, according to court documents.

For now, Fabregas faces three counts of exploitation of a minor and one child pornography charge. He remains behind bars with bail set at $1 million. Through a laywer, he has denied the allegations.

King County prosecutors say it's clear that Fabregas raped his former foster daughter, now 19, but they can't charge him for such conduct under state law unless they can show it happened before she turned 14.

The reason is the statute of limitations. Third-degree child rape, a charge that means the victim was between 14 and 16 when sexual intercourse occurred, can't legally be prosecuted more than three years later.

Prosecutors can file second-degree child rape charges until a young accuser turns 21, but that charge applies only when the victim was between 12 and 14 when the crime happened.

Investigators say they are still trying to pinpoint exactly when Fabregas had sex with the now-19-year-old woman and whether they can prove it happened before her 14th birthday.

She told police that Fabregas began behaving sexually toward her when she was 13 or 14, and that he was giving her drugs and having sex with her by the time she was 17, according to court documents.

Fabregas adopted the younger girl as a baby. Investigators recently questioned the girl about Fabregas and she initially said he didn't sexually abuse her.

But days later, she called police to say he had, in fact, molested her -- and that she'd lied because she didn't want to get her dad into "bad trouble," according to court papers.

Investigators now plan to have a child-interview expert question the girl.

Police said Fabregas gave several stories about having sexually explicit pictures, including a claim that it was for some undercover work he was doing for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

If convicted of the current charges, he could face roughly seven to 10 years in prison.

P-I reporter Tracy Johnson can be reached at 206-467-5942 or tracyjohnson@seattlepi.com.

2006 Jun 13