exposing the dark side of adoption
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Foster dad gets molestation trial next month


By Michelle Durand

The English software designer once lauded for supporting low-incoming children will stand trial on five charges he repeatedly molested a 9-year-old foster child he was in the process of adopting and hatching a plan to take him back to England after the abuse allegations came to light.

Two years after Tarquin Craig Thomas, 41, received a commendation from his employer, Barclays investment firm, for working with children, prosecutors say he sexually and physically abused an Oregon boy in need of foster care.

Between September and November 2005, according to the District Attorney’s Office, Thomas arranged for the boy he met while vacationing in Oregon to be placed with him in San Mateo.

Shortly after the boy arrived here, prosecutors say Thomas began adoption procedures and molesting his future son. Tarquin also reportedly had the boy pose nude with other adults.

The boy reported physical abuse which led to the molestation allegations, according to prosecutors.

After the boy 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 the United Kingdom, Wagstaffe said.

Police arrested Thomas May 24 and prosecutors charged him with 25 counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and a misdemeanor charge of showing pornography to a child with the intent to cause arousal. After a preliminary hearing on the evidence, Judge Craig Parsons whittled the charges to five counts of led acts on a child under 14, one count of showing pornography to a child and one misdemeanor count of invading privacy using a tracking device.

On Thursday, Thomas pleaded not guilty to all charges and was ordered back to court Oct. 1 for a pre-trial conference before facing jury trial Oct. 29.

Thomas remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.

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

2007 Sep 7