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Mother, son accused of assaulting boys at foster home

A foster mother and her son are accused of having sexual contact with children placed in the mother's care. Joshua B. Howard, 21, had sexual contact with four boys while Jane M. Howard, 48, had sexual contact with one boy, authorities say. The Ho...

A foster mother and her son are accused of having sexual contact with children placed in the mother's care.

Joshua B. Howard, 21, had sexual contact with four boys while Jane M. Howard, 48, had sexual contact with one boy, authorities say.

The Howards, both of 9400 Olson Drive, town of Seymour, were charged Thursday in Eau Claire County Court.

Joshua Howard faces three felony counts of repeated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of first-degree sexual assault of a child.

Jane Howard faces two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child.

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According to the criminal complaint:

The sexual contact occurred between 2002 and 2008.

Two of the boys were 7 years old when the sexual contact began. The other two boys were 10 and 12 when the 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.

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The boy who was sexually assaulted by Jane Howard said she threatened to kill him if he told anybody about the incident.

If convicted of all charges, Joshua Howard could be sentenced to up to 145 years in prison, while Jane Howard faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.

Copyright (c)2011 the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)/Distributed by MCT Information Services

Related Topics: CRIMEPOLICE
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