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Abuse Guardians
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San Jose, CA – In a startling development, Shawn Thomas, a 56-year-old teacher from Los Gatos, has been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a student over twenty years ago. Thomas, who worked at Leigh High School and served as a football and track and field coach at Los Gatos High School during the time of the incident, was taken into custody on March 22, 2024.

Delayed Sexual Assault Report Sparks Investigation

The arrest follows a delayed report received by the San Jose Police on March 8. The report detailed an alleged sexual assault that occurred between 2002 and 2003 involving a female student at Leigh High School. Notably, the tip did not come from the victim but from another source.

CA Teacher Charged With Sex Crimes Against Minors

San Jose police emphasized that there is no statute of limitations when it comes to crimes involving minors. Stacie Shih, Senior Public Relations Representative, stated, “The fact that this was a teacher, we take this very seriously.” Thomas faces charges of rape and sexual assault of a minor and is currently held at Santa Clara County Main Jail.

School District Response To Rape Charges Against Teacher

The Campbell Union High School District swiftly responded to the situation by placing Thomas on administrative leave and prohibiting any contact with students or staff. The district is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

The Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District highlighted their stringent background check procedures for coaches, including thorough screenings and fingerprinting before employment.

Additional Victims Urged to Come Forward

Authorities urge anyone with information related to this case or similar incidents to reach out to Detective Camarillo #4576 of the San Jose Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force via email: or by phone at 408-273-2959. Vigilance and community involvement are crucial in addressing such serious allegations.

Exploring Legal Options for Victims of Teacher Sexual Abuse

In the wake of recent news concerning the arrest of a South Bay teacher for alleged rape of a student, understanding the legal avenues available to victims becomes essential. To better understand the rights and recourse available to those affected by such abuses, we sat down with Bobby Thompson, an experienced California child sex abuse lawyer, to discuss the civil litigation process and the path to obtaining justice.

Attorney Laurence Banville (LB): Bobby, thank you for joining us.

Bobby Thompson (BT): Thank you, Laurence. It’s a pleasure to be here.

LB: Given the recent news of a South Bay teacher’s arrest for alleged rape of a student, many victims of abuse may be wondering about their legal options. In situations like this, what can victims do with a civil case against the responsible parties?

BT: It’s an important question, Laurence. Victims of abuse by school teachers or coaches have the right to seek justice through civil litigation. They can file a civil lawsuit against the liable parties involved, such as the school district, administrators, or even the individual perpetrator.

LB: Could you explain the process victims would go through when pursuing a civil case?

BT: Certainly, Laurence. The first step is for the victim to consult with an experienced child sex abuse attorney. Together, they will discuss the details of the abuse and gather any available evidence. The attorney will then guide the victim through the legal process, which typically includes filing a complaint, conducting investigations, and building a strong case.

LB: Is there a time limit within which victims must file a civil lawsuit?

BT: Yes, there are specific deadlines known as statutes of limitations that vary from state to state. In California, for example, victims generally have until their 40th birthday to file a civil lawsuit for childhood sexual abuse. However, it’s important for victims to consult an attorney promptly to understand their specific rights and any exceptions that may apply.

LB: What can victims potentially achieve through a successful civil case?

BT: A successful civil lawsuit can provide victims with a sense of closure, validation, and financial compensation for the damages they have suffered. Compensation may cover medical expenses, therapy costs, loss of earnings, and emotional pain and suffering. It’s important to note that each case is unique, and outcomes will vary based on the circumstances.

LB: Thank you for sharing that valuable information, Bobby. Is there anything else you would like to add for our audience?

BT: I would like to emphasize that victims of child sexual abuse should never hesitate to seek legal help. By taking action, they not only empower themselves but also contribute to holding responsible parties accountable and preventing future incidents. It’s essential to consult with an attorney who specializes in this area of law to ensure they receive the guidance and support they deserve.

LB: Thank you, Bobby, for your insightful perspective on this important matter. We appreciate your time and expertise.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation Today!

If you or your loved ones have been impacted by school-related abuse, we are here to help. Our experienced team of attorneys understands the complexities of these cases and is dedicated to supporting victims and their families. Contact us today for a confidential and complimentary consultation. Together, we can explore your legal options, seek justice, and work towards healing and recovery.


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