BRADFORD, Vt. - A trusted teacher who turned out to be a child molester died in jail Saturday. How he died remains a mystery. Bringing up his name in the town of Bradford Wednesday night made many people uneasy.
"If he had a heart attack or anything I'm not sorry for him. He went to jail for a reason and you have to do your time," said Candy Hazen.
Richard Foster worked at Bradford Elementary School for more than a decade when he did the unthinkable. The sixth grade teacher was convicted of sexually assaulting two students and using them to make porn at his Bradford home. Because of his criminal past, news of his death didn't upset Brandon Audet, one of Foster's former students.
"I'm not really too shocked. He was a sex offender so he deserved it in a way I guess," Audet said.
Foster was serving a 25 year sentence in federal prison when he died Saturday.
"It's an end to a sad chapter in Bradford's history," said Mark Johnson, who was chair of the local school board when Foster was initially charged. He says though it has been six years since Foster was locked up residents are still coming to terms with the notion that something so horrible happened to two innocent children in their small town.
"I don't know that you heal. You carry on. You care for the victims and I think the town has supported those folks," he said.
Johnson says though news of Foster's death brings finality to that chapter of town history, the story itself isn't easily forgotten.
"It was a lot of pain for the community; it's going to be a long time before people heal from that," Johnson said.
Channel 3 reached out to both local authorities and the FBI to find out how Foster died. No information was immediately available. A spokesperson for the FBI said she could neither confirm nor deny that there was a criminal investigation into Foster's death. ..Source.. by Deanna LeBlanc
Bradford Teacher Sentenced for Sex Crimes
Burlington, Vermont - March 9, 2009
A former Bradford Elementary School teacher will spend the next 25 years behind bars for sex crimes.
In September, Richard Foster, 53, pleaded guilty to federal charges of making child pornography videos with two 12-year-old boys who had been his students. He also admitted having sexual contact with one child.
Monday, Judge William Sessions sentenced Foster to 25 years. Foster will not be eligible for release until he is 77. He also agreed to pay $40,000 in restitution to fund counseling and other expenses for his victims.
Foster still faces state charges of sexual assault.