Can you blame people for not trusting a broken system? I know this guy is innocent until proven guilty, but there's already a rumor flying that he admitted to abusing these kids. And the big question is WHY CAN'T STATE AGENCIES INTERFACE WITH EACH OTHER?? One agency denies his application because of obvious concerns, while another approves him. What the hell is THAT about?
Springfield foster parent charged with sex abuse
By Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Oregonian
November 17, 2009, 7:48PM
Lane County Sheriff's Office
Joshua Thomas FriarA 26-year-old Springfield man is in jail, accused of abusing young boys, including foster children under his care.
Police expect that other victims may come forward now that Joshua Thomas Friar is in custody. Until recently, he was a direct-care service provider at a Lane County treatment facility for severely abused and traumatized children, and a volunteer Big Brother.
Held in jail in lieu of nearly $2 million bail, Friar is charged with four counts of second-degree sodomy and one count each of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and witness tampering.
Arrested Saturday, he resigned, while in jail, from a job he held for three years at Jasper Mountain, 10 miles east of Springfield.
Oregon State Police detectives began their investigation Nov. 10 after one of Friar's former foster children reportedly told an Oregon Department of Human Services caseworker that he was sexually abused while in Friar's care.
Officers served a search warrant and seized evidence at two Springfield residences where Friar lived during the past three years. Caseworkers removed three youths, 7 to 16 years old, who were living with Friar. However, there is no evidence that they were victims of the charged crimes, according to Lt. Gregg Hastings, an OSP spokesman.
Police hope former foster children who lived with Friar at 636 S. 41st Place or 1883 17th St. in Springfield will come forward.
"Our hope is that with the release of the addresses, foster children who have stayed with Mr. Friar in the past at those locations will contact OSP," Hastings said.
Police believe that Friar identified vulnerable juvenile males at Jasper Mountain, then later requested they be placed in his home as foster children. Two have come forward so far, Hastings said, and investigators believe more young boys may have been victimized.
Friar, who previously volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, applied in October 2008 to become a foster parent through Jasper Mountain. The center sometimes places young residents in the care of employees trained to foster, supervise and treat emotionally disturbed children, said Dave Ziegler, the center's executive director.
But the application was denied.
"He came to us and said, 'I would like to become a foster parent for Jasper Mountain,'" Zeigler said. "We gave him a trial with one child, and it did not go as we would want it to."
The reservations were not about concerns for the safety of children in Friar's care, Ziegler said.
"There was zero indication of any concern in the area of safety. There were issues with teaching, his choices, his maturity, his impulsivity."
At some point after his application was declined, Friar applied to be a foster parent through DHS. That application was approved.
Officials with DHS would not answer questions about when Friar was certified as a foster parent, what kind of background screening was conducted or how many children the state placed in his home.
"Because of the ongoing police investigation, I am not able to provide additional information," agency spokesman Gene Evans said Tuesday evening.
Anyone with information to help in the investigation is asked to call OSP's Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888.