Guilty ruling is urged in 'deadbeat dad' case

November 08, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A man who was Maryland's most-wanted "deadbeat dad" failed to show a parent's "most basic instinct" by not paying more than $48,000 in support for his five children, a Howard Circuit Court official said yesterday.

Charles Anthony Farace, 43, should be found guilty of criminal contempt for not making most of the court-ordered payments since his 1986 divorce, according to a recommendation issued by Master in Chancery Bernard Raum.

Master Raum also recommended that the Baltimore County man, who works as a chimney sweep, should serve 179 days in jail and resume support payments to his ex-wife, Joy Goldsmith of Ellicott City.

Master Raum estimated that Mr. Farace has paid only 95 cents a day -- less than $5,000 -- since he was ordered to begin payments after his divorce in December 1986. His children are now between 12 and 21.

"Anybody can understand that's not enough to raise a child," Master Raum said. "The most basic instinct is to care for your children."

Master Raum based his recommendation on testimony given at a hearing yesterday. The recommendation then went to Judge James Dudley, who is expected to decide on Thursday whether to adopt or to alter Master Raum's ruling.

Mr. Farace testified at the hearing that he tried to make the payments, but didn't have the money. As he got further behind in his payments, he said, he feared being arrested if he wasn't able to pay the entire amount of delinquent support at once, so he didn't make any payments.

"I didn't say it was right what I did," Mr. Farace said.

Mr. Farace noted that he voluntarily had his wages garnished by $195 a month once he found a full-time job in October -- more than a month after his arrest.

Mr. Farace was apprehended in August at his home in the 6600 block of Tallulah Ave. in Woodlawn after a lengthy investigation on a warrant issued for his arrest on a contempt charge in 1992.

When arrested, Mr. Farace ranked as Maryland's No. 1 deadbeat parent, owing $48,135 in support. The amount he now owes is $48,555, adding in two months of unpaid support and subtracting money he has paid since his arrest.

Mr. Farace was first ordered to pay $600 a month, but that was increased to $850 in 1991 to make up for delinquent support after he fell behind, records say. But again, Mr. Farace made few payments.

Two of Mr. Farace's children -- Danielle Farace, 18, of Ellicott City, and Robert Farace, 20, of Woodlawn -- testified on their father's behalf. They said Mr. Farace has regularly given them money since they were youths.

But Assistant State's Attorney Martin McNamera III argued that Mr. Farace deliberately violated the court orders and then eluded authorities to avoid punishment.

Mr. McNamera noted that although Mr. Farace contacted county child-support officials in March to straighten out the problems, he would not tell them his telephone number or address.

"He has just refused to pay child-support payments," the prosecutor said. "When you look at the figure of $48,555, it takes a long time not to meet your obligations."

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