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Son Evicts Father for Living With Sex Offenders

Megan's Law: James Crummel is third known convict to share Newport Beach condominium with 79-year-old Burnell Forgey.

May 30, 1997|BONNIE HAYES and HOPE HAMASHIGE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

NEWPORT BEACH — Saying he was "appalled" to learn that at least three convicted sex offenders have lived with his father in a Newport Crest condominium since 1977, Duncan Forgey has served 79-year-old Burnell Forgey with a 30-day eviction notice.

The decision was difficult, but relatives agreed it was appropriate in light of "past activities surrounding the residence at Newport Crest," Duncan Forgey of Costa Mesa, owner of the condominium, said in a prepared statement. "It is evident that the community would be better served if the condominium was vacated by these individuals."

Neighbors have been protesting outside the unit at 32 Ima Loa Court for weeks, since police notified them via fliers that child molester James Lee Crummel has lived there off and on with Forgey for years.

Police said Thursday that Forgey first moved into the unit two decades ago with a convicted felon named David Lloyd Colvin. Court records show Colvin, who died in 1989, had once served time in prison for kidnapping and molesting a teenager.

In 1990, after Colvin's death from AIDS, Forgey allowed a second convicted sex offender, Troy James Upham, 37, to move into the condominium, according to court documents. Crummel was a frequent guest at the unit before moving in permanently in 1995, police said.

It is unclear whether Forgey knew about Colvin's past when the two became roommates, although a probation report in 1985 lists indecent exposure, lewd conduct and sexual perversion as part of Colvin's "lengthy" criminal record.

Colvin told police and probation officials he worked for Forgey from 1974 to 1979 as a "houseboy" and later as the doctor's office manager. Crummel has said he is employed as Forgey's "caregiver."

Neither Crummel nor Forgey could be reached for comment Thursday. Duncan Forgey and his wife, Madelynn Forgey, gave Crummel a 30-day eviction notice May 16. Crummel has said he doesn't plan to challenge the order, but is unsure where he will move.

According to Orange County Superior Court documents, Colvin pleaded guilty in 1985 to kidnapping and oral copulation with a minor. The victim was 17 when he told police that Colvin had stopped him late one evening on Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove. Colvin forced him at knifepoint into a darkened area behind a building and molested him, records show.

Colvin, a Michigan native, was sentenced to a year in prison and five years of probation. Because he had a lengthy arrest record for lewd conduct and indecent exposure, he was ordered to undergo psychiatric therapy. He died four years later of complications resulting from AIDS, records show. He was 36.

In August 1995, police served two search warrants at Forgey's home, one for Crummel and the other for Upham, who had moved in. Forgey was not arrested in either case, but police seized methamphetamine and "numerous pornographic videotapes, photographs, writings and other material" from the home, according to the court records. Police also found photographs of young children in sexually explicit positions and advertisements for sexual acts with children, the records show.

Police said all of the items appeared to belong to Upham, who was arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography and methamphetamine. Crummel was named in one of the warrants because he had been listed as a suspect in a recent kidnapping of a 9-year-old boy in San Bernardino County, police said. He has not been arrested in connection with that crime.

An arrest warrant is still active for Upham, who failed to appear for a probation meeting in March 1996 and has not been heard from since, police said. In the warrant, Upham's probation officer described him as "a great danger to the more defenseless members of our society."

Several weeks ago, police posted fliers in the upscale complex under Megan's Law, which allows police departments to warn residents of high-risk sex offenders living nearby. Newport Beach was the third Orange County city to implement the new state law, which took effect Jan. 1.

The resulting protests recently expanded to Forgey's office building on Avocado Avenue and the real estate office where Duncan Forgey works, an attempt by neighbors to force the doctor out of the complex as well.

Newport Crest residents said they heard about Forgey's eviction but continued their nightly protest outside his home Thursday.

"Until they're gone for good, out of here, we're not stopping," said Darleen Savoji, who lives nearby. "Anything can happen and we're not letting up."

In his written announcement Thursday, however, Duncan Forgey stressed that his decision was not prompted by the neighbors' protests.

"I understand the concerns of the homeowners," he said. "However, it does not justify their assault upon my wife and myself or my place of business. . . . Megan's Law has placed us all in a no-win situation."

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