Seven weeks after Citrus Heights police made Robert B. Adams the focus of a molestation investigation, the former private school principal was arrested Wednesday with court documents showing he has faced similar accusations for at least 11 years.
Adams was arrested on multiple felony molestation charges. Despite the closure of his Creative Frontiers school and the public nature of the latest investigation, he was so shocked when officers showed up at his Folsom home at 7:10 a.m. that he suffered chest pains in front of the arresting officers and had to be hospitalized.
He is expected to remain in custody until he has recovered enough to be booked into the Sacramento County jail.
Adams has maintained his innocence, and some parents who sent their students to the school continued to insist Wednesday he is being railroaded.
"The truth will come out," said Theresa Del Biaggio, who pulled her son out of public school on Friday, anticipating Creative Frontiers would reopen this week.
"I don't believe he is guilty of any of those things, but it's not for me to decide," she said. "This seems almost like a situation where the city comes in with a maliciously methodical plan. They are punishing the families and children."
Citrus Heights Police Chief Christopher Boyd said officers have acted properly in the probe, which he called "a highly unusual case."
"We took the time that was necessary to find the facts and the truth," Boyd said. "This investigation is still ongoing. I anticipate it will continue into the foreseeable future."
Adams' attorney, Linda Parisi, declined to comment Wednesday.
Court documents show Adams faced molestation allegations as early as 2000, but nothing came of them until now.
The 60-year-old Adams, who has run the private K-6 school and preschool since 1975, now faces six felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and one misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child under 18.
All of the alleged victims are girls who were students at his school, court documents say. Some came forward with allegations years ago, while others surfaced after news of the investigation became public in July.
A case summary included with the criminal complaint filed by District Attorney Jan Scully's office indicates that three of the alleged victims went to school together and told investigators similar stories about Adams.
One girl cited in the report was 7 in 1998 when Adams allegedly "touched her numerous times while she was in his office at Creative Frontiers," the case summary states. "On several occasions, 'Mr. Bob' pulled her onto his lap and proceeded to touch her breasts under her shirt."
The girl made the allegation in 2000, the case summary said. She also told authorities that Adams had touched two other girls while they were in his office with her.
One of those girls, who would have been about 6 in 1998, claimed Adams "touched her numerous times" and that several times he "pulled her onto his lap, put his hand up her shirt and touched her breasts," according to the report.
She also reported her accusation in 2000. Both cases would have been investigated by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, which handled law enforcement duties for the city until mid-2006.
The case summary gives no indication of what became of that investigation, and a sheriff's official could not explain Wednesday what had happened with the case.
The third girl cited in the report would have been 6 or 7 when she was allegedly molested in 1996 and 1997. The case summary states that several times Adams "touched her breasts under her shirt" and that he also reached down her pants.
That girl came forward with her accusation this year after word of the investigation broke.
They are among seven alleged victims Citrus Heights police have identified through interviews with the girls or witnesses, court papers say.
One alleged victim was 6 in 1996 and 1997 when she claims Adams put his hand up her shirt and touched her chest. She reported the allegation to her school counselor in 2006, but court documents do not indicate what action, if any, the counselor took.
The young woman repeated the allegation to detectives earlier this year.
Another student told detectives in July that Adams sat her on his lap several times in the last year, when she was 7, and that he "proceeded to rub her body, including her inner thighs and vaginal area."
Two other students were identified through interviews with teachers, the documents state. Neither teacher could be reached Wednesday.
The documents say that one former teacher, Bethany Solomon, reported that in 2006 or 2007 she walked into an office and saw Adams with a 2- or 3-year-old girl on his lap. "She then observed Robert Adams rubbing the child's knee and leg," the case summary states. "He then proceeded to move his hand under the child's skirt near her underwear."
The summary does not indicate when Solomon made that report, and she could not be located for comment Wednesday. (The case summary spelled her last name "Soloman" but her teaching credential and other documents indicate it is "Solomon.")
Another teacher, April Thompson, reported last June that she walked into her preschool class after lunch and found Adams alone with her students, who were napping. According to the summary, she said she saw Adams lying next to a 4-year-old's mat. "(Her) shirt was pulled up and Adams was rubbing her bare stomach near her breast line," the document said.
The school has been closed since July and was empty Wednesday morning as police prepared to hold their press conference at a community center nearby.
Adams told city officials last month that he had sold the school to a man engaged to marry one of his daughters, and supporters of Creative Frontiers have been working to get the school reopened.
Boyd said the city wants the school to reopen as long as the safety of the students can be ensured.