Paulden man gets 30 years for drug, child sex charges
PRESCOTT - A man originally arrested on charges relating to giving drugs to children pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse charges, and on Monday, April 21, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Aaron Scott Foster, 33, was one of three adults arrested April 5, 2014, accused of allowing children as young as 7 years old to smoke marijuana.
The three were taken into custody at their home in the 400 block of Rio Trail in Paulden, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said, after a search warrant was served as a result of a Child Protective Services investigation.
CPS and YCSO detectives believed there had been abuse and safety issues in the home involving four children, ages 5, 7, 9 and 13.
During the search, detectives allegedly found several marijuana and methamphetamine pipes in a bedroom where all four children slept with Foster and another suspect, Elizabeth Lawson, the children's mother.
"The home was in complete disarray with trash, debris and clothes strewn everywhere," D'Evelyn said.
Foster told deputies that he had smoked marijuana with the 13-year-old girl.
The 7- and 9-year-old children told deputies Foster had smoked marijuana with them as well, D'Evelyn said, and Lawson told them she had given the 13-year-old alcohol and knew about the marijuana use.
The search also turned up Foster's 9mm handgun, which he is prohibited from owning due to a prior conviction.
Foster, who was Lawson's boyfriend, was originally charged with 13 counts of involving or using a minor in a drug offense, misconduct involving weapons, failure to comply with terms of sex offender registration, possession or use of meth drug paraphernalia, and possession or use of drug paraphernalia.
After a plea negotiation that his attorney, Allen Bickart, described as "very unpleasant," Foster pleaded guilty to different charges: three counts of child molestation, continuous sexual abuse of a child, attempted involving a minor in a drug offense, misconduct involving weapons, failure to comply with sex offender registration, and possession of meth drug paraphernalia.
Bickart told Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley that "this is a tragic case" for all involved and that, while it is true that Foster "would offer a puff of marijuana" to the children, "he certainly didn't give them any drugs to have."
As to the child sex offenses, he said, their mother said "many times she did not believe (the victims)" and that they had not reported sexual abuse on their own.
Bickart said Foster is a "sick person," and that, when sentenced to prison, "he's going to go off to the sexual offender section of the Department of Corrections and receive no rehabilitation at all." He added that Deputy County Attorney Steve Young wanted to "warehouse" Foster for 27 years.
Bickart asked for 20 years so Foster would "see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Foster told Ainley he was sorry for what he did and would seek help when he finished his sentence.
But Ainley was unmoved. Noting his prior felony convictions, failure to register as a sex offender and another sex offense, she sentenced him to 30 years, total, in prison, with the first 25 as "flat time," meaning he is ineligible for early release under any circumstances.
The children's mother was previously sentenced to a term of lifetime probation.
The third person arrested, Jacob Owens, was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and was released. Owens was a friend of Foster and Lawson.
Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy
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