Ex-Judge Ordered to get Therapy Counseling is Part of Probation for Man Who Sought Obscene Photos

By Patti Weaver
Tulsa World [Oklahoma]
July 29, 1998

Newkirk — A retired Lincoln County judge and former church deacon, who was originally accused of molesting a 12-year-old altar girl, was ordered Tuesday to undergo counseling and placed on five years of probation.

Robert L. Foster, 72, of Chandler pleaded no contest in June to an amended charge of assault with intent to commit a felony, specifically to procure obscene and indecent photographs of the girl, Lincoln County District Attorney Kay Christiansen said.

Foster was originally charged on May 9, 1997, with molesting the girl and procuring lewd exhibition of a minor, both alleged to have occurred April 4, 1997. The latter count was dismissed after a preliminary hearing last fall.

Foster, who was a judge for 34 years and a church deacon for 18 years, said nothing at his formal sentencing before Kay County District Judge D.W. Boyd, who was specially appointed to preside in the case.

The girl, who is now 13, was an altar server at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Meeker, where Foster previously served as a deacon, Lincoln County Undersheriff Chester Duncan said. She was not in the courtroom Tuesday.

The alleged abuse occurred in Foster's home, where the girl and her 9-year-old sister were spending the night with their parents' permission.

Foster resigned as a deacon on April 21, 1997, after meeting with the archbishop concerning the allegations of sexual misconduct, said the Rev. Edward Weisenburger, a spokesman for Archbishop Eusebius Beltran of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese.

At Foster's sentencing, Boyd said, "The court is aware the defendant has an absolutely clean record...The court is aware of the age and status of the defendant," before deferring sentencing for five years.

Boyd ordered Foster to obtain at least 25 hours of counseling from an Oklahoma licensed psychologist or psychiatrist to be completed within one year "concerning the issues that led to the filing of charges in this case."

He said that Foster would not have a criminal record if he successfully completed his probation, only the first year of which will be supervised, under a plea bargain.

Boyd also ordered Foster to perform 100 hours of community service within one year, pay a $ 500 fine, pay $ 1,000 to the victim's compensation fund and pay all costs of the case including the expense of taking the archbishop's deposition.


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