The former girls varsity basketball coach at Pine-Richland was sentenced this morning to 11½ to 23 months in jail for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old player on his team.
Cliff Foster, 33, was sentenced after pleading guilty to institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors.
Foster must also register for the rest of his life as a sex offender and serve seven years’ probation. During his probation, he may not have access to a cell phone or the Internet.
The 16-year-old girl told police she met Foster two or three years ago, and she started playing for the Pittsburgh Rise Amateur Athletic Union basketball club that he established.
The two would meet for lunch, meet early in the mornings before school for practice and talk about basketball on the phone. The girl told police she "would relate to Foster more than any other friend," the affidavit said.
The sexual relationship began in April and and ended in October, police said.
During his plea hearing before Common Pleas Judge Jill E. Rangos, Foster apologized.
"I'm very sorry to the victim and her entire family for this," he said.
His attorney, Robert Andrews, told the judge that his client has been honest, forthright and contrite throughout the process.
Included in Foster's reason for taking the plea, Mr. Andrews said, was a wish to prevent the victim from having to go through a trial.
Foster has been held in the Allegheny County Jail since January after prosecutors moved to revoke his bail for violating the no-contact order in the case.
Foster and his sister contacted the victim repeatedly between late November and early January. On Nov. 26, his sister called and asked how the girl was doing and "implied" Foster wanted to speak with her. Then the teen got another call from the sister's phone number, but Foster was on the line, investigators said.
Over that month-and-a-half, the girl told detectives there were four to five text messages and three to four phones calls with Foster that lasted about an hour. He also wrote a letter to the girl, in which he said, "I love you forever," and included a silver necklace with a key medallion.
The plea agreement includes a 10-year no-contact order.
Paula Reed Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter: @PaulaReedWard.