Benton County jury convicts man of first-degree child rape

Tri-City HeraldOctober 4, 2013 

A Benton County jury this week convicted a 36-year-old man of first-degree child rape after deliberating for less than a day.

Jason B. Foster, accused of having sex with a grade-school girl in June 2012, is in the Benton County jail awaiting sentencing.

He faces almost eight years to about 10 years in prison, although prosecutors could seek a sentence beyond the standard range because of the aggravating circumstance that Foster was in a position of trust with the victim.

Foster ultimately could wind up behind bars for life because the crime qualifies as an indeterminate sentence.

That means it will be up to the state's Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to decide -- after he's served the minimum time -- whether he can be released.

The Richland case went to the jury in Benton County Superior Court on Thursday.

"I'm very happy that there was justice for this family and that the community will now be safer," Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra told the Herald.

Foster's defense attorney couldn't be reached Friday. Sentencing is expected to happen in late November.

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