A Waco man who befriended his neighbors and then abused their daughter for five years was sentenced to 55 years in prison Friday and fined a total of $40,000.
Jurors in Waco’s 54th State District Court deliberated about two hours Friday before determining punishment for Sean Jeffrey Foster, who previously rejected a 20-year plea offer from prosecutors.
Jurors recommended sentences of 30 years in prison after convicting the 55-year-old swimming pool company owner on Thursday of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit indecency with a child. Jurors also returned three 15-year sentences on indecency with a child by contact charges and a 10-year term after convicting him of indecency with a child by exposure.
By statute, the burglary charge must run concurrently with the other counts. But Judge Matt Johnson ordered Foster to serve the remaining counts consecutively, meaning he stacked the four counts for a total of 55 years in prison.
Foster, who showed no emotion as the verdicts were read, must serve at least 271/2 years in prison before he can seek parole.
He was convicting of fondling his neighbors’ daughter beginning when she was 9 and pulling back a shower curtain at least twice to see her naked.
Prosecutors Evan O’Donnell and Hilary LaBorde abandoned a sixth count at the close of evidence that charged a second count of indecency by exposure.
Foster’s mother, Dorien Hammann, of Wisconsin, wept quietly in the arms of her husband and spoke out angrily in court after the trial was over.
Foster’s victim, who is now 16, her mother and father gave emotional victim-impact statements spiked with anger, with both the girl and her father ending their statements by telling Foster to go to hell.
“I hope there is a special place in hell for people like you, Sean,” the father said. “And I hope you suffer there for the rest of your life.”
“I hope you feel what I felt,” the girl said, noting that Foster was not looking at her. “You know what you did. We both know what you did. Now you are going away for a long time. I hope while you are in there you remember who put you away. It was me, the little girl you abused.”
The girl’s mother said the ordeal has been nightmarish for her family, causing her to question her maternal instincts for missing “that this horrible person who pretended to be our friend was molesting my daughter.”
Her father, a former Marine who caught Foster pulling back the shower curtain in an attempt to see his daughter in June 2014, said he never before has thought that the world would be a better place if someone had not been born. But he does now.
“I loathe you with every fiber of my being,” he said.
The girl and her family testified that Foster, a Wisconsin native, became a close friend to the family after they moved from Wisconsin and were adjusting to their new surroundings. They lived across the street from Foster for about four years and even called him “Uncle Sean” before the family moved to Lorena.
The girl told jurors that Foster grabbed her buttocks and breasts on almost every occasion that they were alone together beginning when she was 9.
She finally told her mother and a friend about the abuse when she was 14 after Foster, who gave the girl a job with his company, became more aggressive and said he wanted to have sex with her, she said.
Foster’s attorney, Cody Cleveland, declined comment after trial.