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Man gets probation for assaults on autistic boy

| Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, 6:17 p.m.

A West Virginia man will serve 17 years on probation for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old autistic boy last year.

Thomas Edward Foster, 47, former of East Huntingdon, now of Oak Hill, W.Va., pleaded guilty in August to charges of inappropriate sexual contact with the boy.

Westmoreland County Judge Al Bell on Tuesday imposed the terms of the plea bargain. Bell sentenced Foster to serve consecutive probation sentences and to have no contact with children.

Foster previously pleaded guilty to lesser charges of child endangerment, criminal mischief, indecent assault and indecent exposure.

The prosecution dismissed more serious felony charges, including several counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

According to court records, police said Foster engaged in sexual contact with the boy five times during late 2011 and early 2012. In January, police learned of the allegations from an anonymous caller.

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