Sexual assault charges against foster mother dismissed by judge


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Sexual assault charges against foster mother dismissed by judge

Sexual assault charges against a foster mother accused of having sexual contact with children placed in her care have been dismissed, but a similar criminal case against her son will continue.

Eau Claire County Assistant District Attorney Meri Larson asked Judge Paul Lenz Friday to dismiss two felony counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child against Jane M. Howard, 48, 9400 Olson Drive.

Larson said she didn't have enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict Howard of the charges.

But if she receives additional evidence in the future, Larson said she could re-file the charges.

The case against Joshua B. Howard, 22, 1913 Seventh St., who is accused of having sexual contact with four boys, continues.

Joshua Howard, formerly of 9400 Olson Drive, faces three felony counts of repeated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of first-degree sexual assault of a child, and returns to court July 25.

According to the criminal complaint:

The sexual contact occurred between 2002 and 2008.

Two of the boys were seven years old when the contact began. The other two boys were ages 10 and 12 when the sexual contact started.

One of the 7-year-old boys said both Joshua and Jane Howard had sexual contact with him.

Two of the boys said Joshua Howard used access to video or computer games as leverage to get them to participate in sexual activities.

One of the younger boys said the sexual contact ruined his life.

Joshua Howard admitted being sexually active with one of the boys but denied any sexual contact with other foster children at the residence.

Joshua Howard's father told authorities he thought this was nothing more than "boys will be boys" type of activity.



For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:35-40