By: April Carson
The North Kingstown High School community is reeling after one of their own was accused of some truly heinous crimes.
A coach in Rhode Island is accused of molesting high school students. What's even more disturbing is that he's also accused of tricking the students into removing their clothes under the pretense of running "fat tests" program.
Aaron Thomas, a former basketball coach at North Kingstown High School, was arrested Thursday on charges of sexual assault and sexual molestation in connection to conducting "fat tests" on naked teenagers for nearly two decades.
Before proposing them to participate in a "fat-testing" program he provided student athletes, 55-year-old Aaron Thomas would ask students whether they are “shy or not shy.” Thomas taught and coached at North Kingstown High School in Rhode Island, according to PEOPLE.
"The defendant, while employed at North Kingstown High School as a teacher and basketball coach, engaged in sexual contact with two victims, as alleged in the Criminal Information," Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said.
This is a significant turning point in the long-standing dispute that has resulted in the resignations of numerous high officials. Because of his alleged conduct, several potential victims have demanded more than simply firing Thomas.
He has an arraignment date of August 19, 2022, in Washington County Superior Court.
Several students who have previously attended the school claim that Thomas would encourage them to strip down to their underwear in a closet adjacent to the boy's locker room. He would tell them he was measuring their fat and asking if they were "shy or not shy."
He instructed students if they weren't bashful to take off their underwear and would use a measuring instrument to assess the surface area of their upper thighs, according to WPRI-TV. Students were afraid to declare that they were shy because they feared missing out on the opportunity to play at the varsity level for the school's basketball team.
According to numerous testimonials, Thomas carried out "fat testing" — supposedly body mass measurements — on naked boys in a private office by himself.
After it was discovered that the examinations were allegedly performed on naked students in May 2021, the district took measures to fire him and Thomas resigned his position in June 2021. However, news stories later alleged that school officials should have acted far sooner.
Several prominent school officials have already resigned in response to the controversy, including Superintendent Philip Auger and Assistant Superintendent Denise Mancieri. The former North Kingstown athletic director also stepped down from his position.
Thomas, who had worked at the school for 30 years, has since been charged with child molestation and sexual assault. According to PEOPLE, Thomas “engaged in sexual contact with two victims” during the period 1990 through 2021, one of whom was under the age of 14.
Second-degree sexual assault involves contact with a person under the age of 14. According to the statement, it is claimed that the defendant had sexual contact with this victim between September 1, 2000, and February 22, 2002.
Thomas is also accused of engaging in sexual contact with a second victim by force or coercion, or during the medical treatment of the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or stimulation, according to Neronha's statement.
The defendant is accused of sexual contact with this victim between September 1, 2019, and February 22, 2020. The notification said that the statute of limitations for second-degree sexual assault in Rhode Island is three years.
This means that incidents involving the vast majority of students who were subjected to Thomas' fat testing for nearly 20 years after 1993 would not be covered by this state law.
According to Nerhona's office, interviews were held with more than 30 former students who went to North Kingstown High School between the early 1990s and 2020, as well as teachers, coaches, administrators, and medical personnel.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island is investigating any federal civil rights-related infractions in this case.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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