A former highschool basketball coach in Rhode Island has been charged with youngster molestation and sexual assault after authorities found he’d been operating a disturbing “fat-testing” program.
Aaron Thomas, a 55-year-old man from North Kingstown, Rhode Island, is being charged with allegedly participating “in sexual contact” with two minors. Thomas is a former trainer and boys’ basketball coach at North Kingstown Excessive College, the place he labored from 1990 to 2021.
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Based on WPRI-TV, former college students on the college claimed Thomas would allegedly persuade student-athletes to “strip all the way down to their underwear” in a closet within the boys’ locker room. The disgraced coach apparently used the ruse that he was measuring the athletes’ physique fats percentages. College students instructed the outlet the person would ask them in the event that they had been “shy or not shy” as a option to persuade them to strip.
One unnamed former scholar spoke anonymously to the TV information outlet. In a heartbreaking assertion, he recalled doing as instructed due to the strain he felt and goals he had about enjoying basketball for the well-known program:
“I didn’t need to be ‘not shy’ as a result of my complete childhood I wished to play varsity basketball for North Kingstown. Lots of my heroes had been ex-players that performed there, individuals I regarded as much as, particularly [Thomas]. I actually wished him to love me, I wished him to respect me.”
Based on a launch revealed on Thursday by the workplace of Rhode Island Legal professional Normal Peter Neronha, Thomas is being charged with second-degree youngster molestation. The discharge claims the now-former coach “engaged in sexual contact with a sufferer below the age of 14 … by pressure or coercion … for the aim of sexual arousal, gratification, or stimulation.” Investigators assert the incidents passed off between 2000 and 2002. Prosecutors say Thomas could have finished the “physique fats testing” to athletes on the varsity’s soccer and wrestling groups, too.
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Timothy Conlon, the legal professional representing the 2 victims within the case, launched a response to the costs. Talking to Folks on the matter, the legal professional acknowledged:
“This can have an an impression on the varsity administration in North Kingstown, and I hope all through the area. We hope it is going to start a tradition change within the sports activities atmosphere with children and oldsters, and a change in tradition with different academics/coaches, so that they don’t ignore warning indicators or look the opposite approach once they encounter regarding conduct, whatever the standing of the actual coach or educator concerned.”
Now, the North Kingstown College District is scrambling following the newest authorized maneuver. Interim Superintendent Michael Waterman acknowledged to the magazine that the district is “prepared to help” authorities with their investigation in Thomas’ alleged motion. Waterman added:
“We have now taken actions to additional help and defend our college students, from essential adjustments to current insurance policies as nicely the adoption of latest district insurance policies designed to make sure all of our college students are secure inside all of their academic environments.”
Right here is extra on Thomas’ arrest, from WPRI-TV (under):
Such a horrible scenario for these poor student-athletes. And a lot trauma for them to hold by maturity. Per Folks, Thomas’ subsequent courtroom date will probably be on August 19.
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