Callie Thornton
By Elizabeth Piazza The Daily Times



Posted: 04/03/2010 12:00:00 AM MDT


FARMINGTON — A foster father who previously faced 85 counts of criminal sexual penetration against a minor was arrested Thursday and charged with six new counts of the same crime after a different victim videotaped one of the incidents.


Todd Mortensen, 45, confessed only to the recent assaults, which reportedly took place between March 22 and 30 in Mortensen's home, where the 12-year-old victim lived as a foster child, San Juan County Sheriff's Capt. Tim Black said. The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department removed the child from the home.


Mortensen was booked at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on six charges of second-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor younger than the age 13. He is not facing the previous 85 counts dismissed by prosecutors in 2005, but the District Attorney's Office is looking into the old case, District Attorney Rick Tedrow said.


Mortensen, a nurse at San Juan Regional Medical Center since May 2008, resigned Thursday, hospital spokesman Dennis Mathis said.


"He did not work with children," said Mathis, who declined to say in which department Mortensen worked.


Mortensen is a former foster parent, but he has not held a license with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department for several years, said Romaine Serna, spokeswoman for the department.


Mortensen and his wife, Lisa, have had dozens of foster children in their home over the years. They adopted several of them, including one still living in the home.


"He was licensed and did adopt children through Children, Youth and Families Department," Serna said of Mortensen. "The individual that studied the family did not have any concerns at the time. They passed all the clearances and residence checks."


The 85 charges filed in 2003 are public record and are accessible on the state's court records Web site, nmcourts.com.


The 12-year-old victim was not fostered through the Children, Youth and Families Department, Serna said. She believes the arrangements were conducted privately with another family.


Mortensen had two more female foster children living in his home at the time of his arrest, Black said.


"We are pulling the other two 16-year-old girls out and turning them over to CYFD because we don't know why they are there," Black said. "They were not officially placed by CYFD and we don't know exactly where they belong."


CYFD is conducting an investigation into Mortensen's background and is....read more here


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