A judge has raised bail for former Torrance High School teacher and wrestling coach Thomas Joseph Snider from $900,000 to $2 million, saying allegations that he molested as many as 26 male students make him a threat to the community.
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April 22, 2015 - Judge Thomas Sokolov raised Snider’s bail at a hearing in Torrance court yesterday, rejecting the prosecution’s request for $3 million bail while dismissing the defense’s request for a bail of no more than $100,000. Snider was initially held on $900,000 bail following his arrest a week ago.
The 47-year-old has pleaded not guilty to 33 felony counts of lewd conduct with children and 8 misdemeanor counts of child molestation stemming from alleged crimes that occurred between 2013 and 2015. During the hearing Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Hyunah Suh added another count of lewd conduct with a child under 14, alleging the incident occurred in 1995 or 1996.
Abuse Occurred During ‘Skin Checks’: Parent
It has still not been disclosed specifically what Snider is alleged to have done to the boys, but a parent of one of the victims said he touched them inappropriately while performing “skin checks” before wrestling matches, according to the Daily Breeze . Coaches are required to look at wrestlers’ exposed skin to make sure they don’t have cuts or other diseases before competing.
In requesting a lower bail amount, Snider’s attorney claimed his client has diabetes, which requires a glucose monitor and constant blood sugar checks; therefore, he should not be considered a threat to the community or a flight risk.
The district attorney disagreed, pointing out that Snider had been physically active with his wrestlers while he was coaching, and that he had used his position of authority to commit lewd acts against his victims.
Sokolov set Snider’s next court hearing for May 1, when a date will be selected for his preliminary hearing. The judge also issued an order prohibiting Snider from going near the victims or Torrance High School.
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