NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – The attorney for embattled former North Kingstown High School basketball coach Aaron Thomas has asked a judge to dismiss all criminal charges against his client in the ongoing naked “fat-test” investigation.
Attorney John MacDonald filed the request Thursday, requesting the judge toss out the one count of second-degree sexual assault and one count of second-degree sexual molestation charged against Thomas.
In his motion, MacDonald cited a procedural rule that is often used to argue a criminal charge fails on jurisdictional grounds. MacDonald said he filed the motion because the procedural clock was ticking and he needed to do it now so he could make a more formal argument later in the case.
“You’ve got 30 days to file a motion to dismiss,” MacDonald said. “The motion to dismiss at this stage is filed as a placeholder in the event that grounds exist down the road to dismiss this matter.”
Thomas was ordered to stay away from the two victims in the case and he is barred from teaching or coaching youth sports as he awaits trial. He was released on $10,000 personal recognizance.
The criminal offenses stem from an eight-month law enforcement probe spurred by a Target 12 investigation last October that examined how Thomas would regularly get students to strip naked alone with him behind closed doors for body-fat tests. The program — which generations of students considered an open secret at the school — went unchecked for nearly three decades, despite past attempts by students to sound the alarm that Thomas was being inappropriate.
Prosecutors have accused Thomas of engaging in sexual contact with two victims, according to Neronha and North Kingstown Police Chief Patrick Flanagan. The molestation charge stems from alleged sexual contact between Thomas and a victim between 2000 and 2002, according to law enforcement. The sexual assault charge is tied to alleged sexual contact with a victim between 2019 and 2020.