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Jailhouse talk forbidden

Thomas scolded for contacting alleged victims

Posted: October 17, 2008 9:28 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
VAN NUYS — A Superior Court judge Friday ordered former high school teacher Kevin Lamont Thomas, accused of performing lewd acts with teenage girls, to stop communicating with his alleged victims from jail.

With apparent shock in her voice, Judge Karen Nudell asked a county prosecutor Friday morning to repeat her assertion that Thomas was communicating with some of his alleged victims while he was in custody.
“Has this been going on?” Nudell asked Deputy District Attorney Alisanne Scolnik.

“An anonymous letter to our office says he has contacted these minors, these victims, or people have done so on his behalf,” Scolnik said.

Nudell issued an order prohibiting Thomas from contacting, either by phone or written word, any of the protected individuals in the case, and not to be within 100 yards of any of them.

Thomas was arrested June 10 and charged 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.

Scolnik listed five additional charges against Thomas on Friday, including: two felony counts of sexual intercourse with a minor involving the same alleged victim and three misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a minor involving three other alleged victims.

Sexual annoyance is engaging in sexually explicit conversation with a minor for the purpose of arousal, according to a Los Angeles Police Department detective.

Thomas was ordered Friday to appear for a preliminary hearing Nov. 6.

He was ushered into the courtroom Friday wearing an orange prison jumpsuit with the words “County Jail” stenciled in bold lettering on the back.

Although handcuffed, Thomas looked casually at the two women and one man seated in the courtroom as he entered.

The only time he spoke was with a clear, robust voice, delivered in a casual and unhurried manner as he sat beside his lawyer.

“Not guilty,” he answered the judge to the charges laid against him.

His attorney, Robert Nadler, told the judge that his client’s daughter, Tatianna, is a member of the University of Oregon women’s basketball team, which competes in the PAC-10 Conference, and is a person who knows some of her father’s alleged victims.

Nudell stated repeatedly, after learning about Thomas’ alleged jailhouse talks with teenage girls, that anyone including Thomas’ daughter is putting themselves in legal jeopardy if they act as liaisons.

“He can’t contact any of these people,” Nudell said, adding the same goes for anyone relaying information.

“Otherwise it will come back to haunt them,” she said. “You (Nadler) are going to have to talk to his daughter.”

Thomas was a special education assistant in the Los Angeles Unified School District who used private basketball lessons to allegedly lure girls into sexual scenarios.

With regards to the five new charges against Thomas, involving four teenage girls, the alleged abuse happened over a seven-month period between November 2007 and June 2008, LAPD Detective Dennis Derr said.

Thomas’ daughter was a standout basketball player at Hart High School in 2007 and earned a college basketball scholarship.

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