Teacher Allegedly Raped Teen During School Hours and Forced Her into Abortion After Impregnating Her

The alleged victim accuses Shawn Thomas, 56, of raping her when she was 15, according to a lawsuit

<p>San Jose Police Department</p> Shawn Thomas

San Jose Police Department

Shawn Thomas
  • Shawn Thomas, a decorated high school coach and athlete, was arrested more than two decades after the alleged assaults, per police

  • On one occasion, Thomas' wife almost caught her husband sexually abusing the minor, her lawyers say

  • Thomas was arrested in March

A California teacher and high school coach has been arrested on accusations that he raped a female student multiple times between 2002 and 2003, and that the alleged assaults led to a pregnancy that ended when he forced her to have an abortion, according to police and a lawsuit filed by the alleged victim.

Shawn Thomas, 56, was arrested on March 22 by the San José Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children in San Jose, Calif., following an investigation that began on March 8 when the alleged victim reported the alleged assaults to authorities, SJPD said in a statement.

Thomas was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail "for rape and sexual assault of a minor," according to the police statement. It's not clear if he has retained an attorney or entered pleas.

Nearly a month after Thomas' arrest, the alleged victim filed a lawsuit against  the Campbell Union High School District, according to a statement by her attorneys on Thursday.

The statement from the attorneys alleges the then-15-year-old was a freshman at Leigh High School in San Jose in the 2002-2003 school year. Thomas “allegedly began grooming her for his sexual advances, and sexually assaulting her numerous times including on school grounds,” according to the statement. The attorneys allege he carried out the alleged assaults in a "portable classroom" and in the storage room of the boys’ locker room, per the statement.

On one occasion, Thomas’ wife, who was the dean of Leigh High School at the time, allegedly almost caught Thomas abusing the teen, the lawsuit claims. The wife allegedly saw the two alone in his portable classroom after they “abruptly stopped having sex because they saw her approaching,” per the statement.

After allegedly getting the student pregnant, the statement from the accuser's attorneys claims Thomas made her get an abortion.

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Thomas is a decorated coach and former athlete in the region and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006, per the attorneys' statement. At the time of his arrest, he was working at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos.

In an emailed statement, the Campbell Union High School District said they are "prepared to continue to cooperate with law enforcement throughout their investigation, and provide access to all necessary information."

"Our foremost commitment remains the safety and well-being of our students, families, and staff," reads a part of the statement, which notes that the current leadership was not in charge in 2003 but is "deeply concerned."

The statement from the accuser's attorneys says they believe there may be more possible victims and have urged anyone else with information to contact them at 408-289-1417.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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