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Group home employee charged with sending sex messages to Pinellas teen

Authorities on Tuesday arrested an Oviedo man accused of sending inappropriate messages this summer to a 15-year-old Pinellas County girl.

The man, Jerry L. Foster, began chatting with the unidentified girl in August. Foster, who is 59, posed as a 20-year-old male. He sent the teen sexually explicit messages in a chat room, via e-mail and also via her cell phone, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Foster works as a group home employee in Orange County, authorities said. The home, called Laurel Hill, is a group home for teen boys. Foster is a family teacher assistant there.

Pinellas deputies began their investigation in late September, after the girl's mother heard inappropriate voice mails from a much older male on her daughter's cell phone.

Detectives found graphic chat room logs authorities say Foster wrote to the girl, and set up a sting. Posing as the girl, they continued to communicate with Foster, who sent more sexual messages via a chat room, authorities said.

Detectives from Pinellas County and Oviedo coordinated an arrest, which took place Tuesday morning.

Foster was booked into the Seminole County Jail, held in lieu of $100,000 bail, and faces charges of certain use of computer services prohibited and computer pornography.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Foster does not have a previous criminal record in the state.

Group home employee charged with sending sex messages to Pinellas teen 10/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 11:43am]

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