Police say child predator hid behind the lens of a camera - WSMV Channel 4

Police say child predator hid behind the lens of a camera to lure young girls

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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

He would groom his young victims into believing he was a professional photographer, but the predator would end up taking advantage of the young girls instead. That was until one came forward and squealed on him after a graphic picture of her surfaced.

Police said Leslie Foster, 55, of Netherland Street in Murfreeesboro pretended to be a photographer, first taking casual pictures of young girls, and then he would make his move.

"After gaining her trust he manipulated her into taking pornographic pictures of her performing sexual acts," said Sgt. Kyle Evans, Murfreesboro police spokesman.

It was in October 2011 when a teenage girl contacted police claiming she was raped by Foster, whom she knew as a family friend, numerous times. The assaults took place at his home, the teen's home and during her five-month stay as a patient at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, according to police.

"He knew he did wrong," Evans said. "He knew he would go to jail for a long time."

Rather than take his chances going to court before a jury of his peers, Foster worked out a plea agreement with the district attorney and will serve 18 years behind bars, day-for-day, with a possibility of having to serve eight more.

Channel 4 News attempted to talk to Foster by phone to get his side of the story, but he wasn't having any part of it and hung up.

Police believe there may be more victims.

This is not the first time he's been in trouble.

Police arrested Foster in a park next to the Oakland's Mansion in July of last year. He had more than 200 prescription pills, a gun, and a teenage girl inside his truck. When officers checked his cell phone, they found messages about him trading pills for sex. They also found pictures of a nude girl.

Next-door neighbor Laura Caddell said police thought her granddaughter was one of Foster's victims.

"They thought she was because they have one picture of her in a bathrobe, but I was over there," Caddell said.

She said she kept a close eye on the 11-year-old.

"I never let my granddaughter go into the house," Caddell said. "Whenever she went over I would tell her you go 20 minutes.  I would go into her bedroom and listen to what the conversation was to make sure nothing funny was going on."

Police said as part of the agreement Foster won't have to report to jail for 60 days. He's wearing an ankle bracelet and will have to report as a sex offender while he's out. The DA agreed to this because he's caring for his mother who's terminally ill with cancer.

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