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Redmond foster father takes plea deal in sexual-abuse case


Redmond foster father takes plea deal in sexual-abuse case

May 14, 2007

Natalie Singer

Seattle Times

A former Redmond foster father accused of sexually and physically abusing three girls once in his care pleaded guilty this morning to reduced charges under a deal that could place him in prison for 2-½-3-½ years, less than half of what he originally faced if convicted.

Enrique Fabregas, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. He was originally charged last June with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, which could have brought him 7-10 years in prison.

Court documents allege that his former foster daughter, Estera Tamas, now 20, was sexually abused by Fabregas and bribed with drugs and fancy clothes in order to keep her quiet. (The Seattle Times generally does not name victims of suspected sexual abuse, but Estera agreed to be named.)

He isolated his adopted daughter, now 13, from social contact, police said, keeping her home from school regularly and having her sleep in his bed.

Another foster daughter, now 19, has said she was physically abused.

King County prosecutors will recommend a 48-month sentence for Fabregas, higher than the standard range. Spokesman Dan Donohoe said today that despite reducing the charges against Fabregas, they felt the deal was fair because "It would send him to prison. He's being held accountable at a felony level."

Two weeks ago the women and girl filed a civil lawsuit against the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for its alleged role in their long-running abuse.

DSHS records show that between 1996 and 2004 Fabregas was the subject of 25 complaints to the agency, eight of them alleging sexual abuse or exploitation. But only one of those — failing to report there was a dog in the home — resulted in action against Fabregas.

It wasn't until a Redmond detective got a search warrant last year and found photographs and videos depicting child pornography and Tamas' abuse that the youngest girl, adopted in 1999, was removed.

Although Fabregas claimed to DSHS to be free of criminal convictions, records show he had at least six convictions for crimes including carrying a concealed weapon, theft and drug possession before receiving his foster-care license.

Fabregas finally lost his foster-care license in 2004, after refusing to take a sexual-deviancy exam requested by DSHS.

He is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. June 29 before King County Superior Court Judge Richard Eadie.

Natalie Singer: 206-464-2704 or nsinger@seattletimes.com

2007 May 14