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Deal stalls sex assault trial

Former coach may get plea offer

Posted: September 17, 2008 8:27 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

Kevin Lamont Thomas, who is accused of performing lewd acts with teenage girls, could be offered a sentencing deal soon, his defense attorney said Wednesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the former Canyon Country High School volunteer assistant football coach June 10 and charged him with five counts of sexual penetration of an underage person, five counts of penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object, one count of lewd conduct with a minor and one count of possession of child pornography.

Thomas, who worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District, offered private basketball practices to high school girls and allegedly lured them into performing lewd sexual acts with him.  

Thomas was in court Wednesday for a continuation of a preliminary hearing. He winked at an audience member and cracked a smile before taking his seat in court.

Thomas’s attorney, Robert Nadler, asked for a second extension Wednesday to discuss cutting a deal with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

“I was told if the offer that is on the table isn’t taken today, the offer is off the table,” said Isidoro Baly, deputy district attorney. Baly filled in for Deputy District Attorney Alisanne Scolnik who was attending a training session, he said.
Scolnik sent Baly an e-mail detailing a three-year deal that would send Thomas to state prison.

“I didn’t think the deal was a firm deal,” Nadler said. Scolnik and Baly discussed several offers, including one where Thomas would spend a year in county jail,” Nadler said.

He didn’t tell Thomas about the three-year offer because he thought the deal wasn’t firm, Nadler said.
Baly agreed with moving the preliminary hearing to Oct. 17.

“Apparently there is a miscommunication between the two lawyers,” he said.

Lawyers for both sides tried to absorb volumes of evidence and interview witnesses delaying the trial for the last 60 days, Nadler said.

Deputies found video tapes of the alleged crimes when they arrested Thomas.

Nadler spent the last month streaming through the videos and testimony.

Scolnik wanted to delay the August court proceeding because one of the victims set to testify was away at college.
 
If convicted on all counts, Thomas could face up to 40 years in prison, Baly said.

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