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Foster Parent Arrested for Sex Abuse

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MEDFORD, Ore. – A 77-year-old foster parent is in jail after police say he sexually abused a child in his care.

James Eldon Mobley was arrested for two counts of first-degree sex abuse. He is accused of sexually abusing two foster children. His bail was set at $2 million.

Medford Police began investigating Mobley last week, based on information from the Department of Human Services. Investigators say Mobley has been a foster parent in Oregon since 2008, and now police are attempting to identify other children he has cared for to see if there are any additional victims.

DHS Manager Doug Mares would not comment on this specific case, but said DHS conducts extensive background checks on potential foster parents. When a child is placed in a foster home, DHS checks in at the home every month and interviews foster children. He said they take problems very seriously.

“If there is an issue, we look into it,” Mares said.

The biological parents of another child in Mobley’s care said they had made complaints to DHS almost two years ago about Mobley engaging in lewd conduct with the foster children, but said nothing was done. That child was not one of the two victims listed by Medford Police.  The parents declined to go on camera in order to protect their daughter’s privacy, but said the girl was returned to them after Mobley’s arrest.

Neighbors near Mobley’s home in the Springview Estates Mobile Park in Medford said Mobley and his wife Donna cared for the children. Some neighbors said they would occasionally hear the couple yell at the children. They said Donna quickly moved out of the unit after James’ arrest.

The investigation is ongoing, and more charges may be pending. Medford Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this case to contact them.

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  1. Darlene Bilyeu says:

    I find it hard to believe that Jackson County DHS does monthly check-ins with every foster child and every foster home. That may be the goal, but seriously — what DHS office in any county has the resourses to meet that goal each and every month? With that in mind, as we see so often, if you are willing to lie to the public about one thing, you are most likely willing to lie about the whole nine yards.

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