Crime, Fire + Courts

DA: More charges expected against Esparto molest suspect

By From page A1 | February 01, 2012

Cristan Rooms

Cristan Rooms

WOODLAND — A Yolo County prosecutor said Tuesday he expects to file additional charges against Cristan Rooms, the Esparto foster parent and youth soccer coach accused of molesting or abusing two children.

“We anticipate there being more victims. How many victims, we’re not certain,” Deputy District Attorney Rob Gorman said following a brief hearing in Yolo Superior Court, where the 29-year-old Rooms pleaded not guilty to the 54 existing charges against him.

Shannon Baker, Rooms’ defense attorney, has declined to comment on the case, which is due back in court March 13 for a pre-hearing conference. The additional charges should be filed by that date, Gorman said in court.

Rooms currently faces 48 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14 by use of fear or violence, as well as six misdemeanor child-abuse counts. His bail remains set at $12 million, but could be increased in the event that more charges are filed.

The follow-up investigation has “stretched as far as Marin County,” in addition to Yolo and Solano counties, according to Gorman, who disclosed that Rooms was active in the Big Brothers Big Sisters youth mentoring organization in addition to his coaching and foster-parent roles.

Yolo County sheriff’s detectives are “actively pursuing leads,” Gorman said. “The victims’ statements thus far all have been very consistent as to what has transpired.”

A criminal complaint filed against Rooms accuses him of masturbating, showering with and inappropriately touching one of the alleged victims, a 14-year-old Vacaville boy whom Rooms reportedly coached in both soccer and bowling. Court documents indicate the alleged conduct occurred over a four-year period, from June 2007 until June 2011.

An acquaintance of Rooms and the teen filed a report with the Sheriff’s Department in early December.

Authorities have not revealed Rooms’ relationship to the second alleged victim, who, according to the complaint, was abused by being spanked and diapered over a 10-month period in 2011.

A 6-year-old foster child was removed from Rooms’ home during the investigation, but sheriff’s officials said the boy reported during an interview that he had not been molested.

Gorman declined to say today whether any of the alleged victims were from the Esparto area, where Rooms lived in a subdivision of newer homes.

“We’re dealing with a very small community,” Gorman said.

Rooms also remains the subject of an investigation by the California Department of Social Services, which in May 2010 licensed him as foster parent for up to two children. It’s unclear how many children had been placed with Rooms since then.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or (530) 747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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