A teacher and wrestling coach at Torrance High School in California has been arrested for allegedly molesting 25 student athletes. Thomas Joseph Snider, 47, was charged with 33 felony counts of lewd acts on a child and 8 misdemeanor counts of child molesting.
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Update: Wrestlers Sue Torrance Schools for Failing to Stop Abuse by Wrestling Coach
March 11, 2016 - As Thomas Joseph Snider awaits trial on numerous child molestation charges, a group of students are suing Torrance Unified School District for failing to protect them, according to ABC News. Attorneys for the group of over 20 wrestlers say the district missed warning signs about alleged molestation by Snider for more than a decade, noting that a police report for abuse was filed against him in 2004, yet he remained at the school. Snider was arrested last April and now stands charged with 47 counts of lewd acts on a child.
Snider Charged With Molesting 25 Boys, Pleads Not Guilty
April 20, 2015 - Snider turned himself in to Torrance Police after being charged with “inappropriately touching children” and “child molesting,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 25 students he’s accused of molesting ranged in age from 13 to 16, and were all members of the Torrance High School wrestling team. The alleged abuses occurred between Sept. 2013 and Jan. 2015, according to police.
After several students came forward claiming that Snider had abused them, he was placed on paid administrative leave and detectives launched an investigation. After his arrest, Snider was placed on unpaid leave, according to Torrance Unified School District.
Snider was first employed with the school district in 1990 as a career technical education teacher, and became the high school wrestling coach 2 years ago, about the time the alleged abuses started.
Snider has pleaded not guilty to all 41 counts against him, and is being held on $900,000 bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of more than 37 years in prison.
Bail Raised to $2M, Additional Charges Filed
April 22 - Judge Sokolov raised Thomas Snider’s bail to $2 million 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. Also at the hearing, Deputy District Attorney Hyunah Suh added another count of lewd conduct with a child under 14 against Snider, bringing the total of alleged victims to 26. Click here to learn more.
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