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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Man nets 14-year prison sentence for sex misconduct, child exploitation charges

Matthew C. Foster
Matthew C. Foster
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, March 06, 2017 12:21 pm
A man who was found guilty of four charges relating to a sexual relationship he had with a teen from 2010-2015 will serve time in prison. Matthew C. Foster, 35, of Monroeville, was sentenced Monday in Allen Superior Court to serve 14 years in prison.

Foster was found guilty of four charges — two sexual misconduct charges, one count of child exploitation and one count of possession of pornography — during a jury trial in January.

Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced Foster to serve 10 years on one count of sexual misconduct and four years on another count, to be served concurrently, or at the same time. He also sentenced Foster to serve four years for a child exploitation charge and one year for possessing pornography, also to be served concurrently to each other. However, the 10-year sexual misconduct term and the four-year child exploitation charge were ordered to be served consecutively, or one after the other, resulting in the 14-year prison term.

In January a jury also found Foster not guilty on one count of sexual misconduct and returned hung verdicts regarding two other sexual misconduct charges. Each of the sexual misconduct counts represented different types of sexual activity or specific sex acts.

Foster originally faced eight charges relating to a sexual relationship he had with a teen from 2010-2015. Neglect of a dependent was dismissed last May, leaving seven charges. 

Surbeck, who said this was not an easy case, weighed Foster's military career heavily during sentencing. Foster, a 20-year veteran, said he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded, resulting in permanent nerve damage.

More than 20 people in support of Foster attended the sentencing hearing. Five spoke of Foster's character, including two who served with him in the military. Foster's father said, "He's always been there for me. Been there for his country... He was trying to do the right thing for his son."

Foster's father was referencing the relationship his son had, beginning in 2010, with a 14-year-old girl, with whom Foster became intimate shortly after the girl's mother signed papers giving Foster guardianship of the girl. The girl moved into his Monroeville home the beginning of her sophomore year in high school to be a nanny to Foster's son.

The victim also testified on Monday, finding it difficult to speak at times. When she gathered herself together, she spoke of Foster's control over her, even after their relationship ended. She said she changed her phone number four or five times, but Foster found out the number each time and kept calling her. 

"I don't believe he wishes me the best," she said. "He would try to ruin my life." She spoke of the paranoia she experienced during the last two years it took to bring Foster to trial. "After the trial, I finally felt normal again. People didn't see behind closed doors. A lot happened that people didn't see," she said.

Foster apologized to the girl, "I'm sorry we had to go through this. I'm sorry beyond words." He blamed himself for pushing people away who tried to get help for his pschological issues. 

"He (Foster) tried to be a role model to a vulnerable child, and chose instead to pursue his passions above her interests," Surbeck said. "Some consider her (the victim) to be a manipulator, but I'm not convinced. You showed support for him but not for her."

Foster has 48 days' jail credit.

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