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Coach arrested for assault

• Canyon High volunteer accused of sexual assault in L.A. district

Posted: June 12, 2008 1:05 p.m.
Updated: August 13, 2008 5:03 a.m.
A Canyon High School volunteer football coach has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female student at an L.A. Unified School District high school where the coach is employed.

Kevin Thomas, 40, an assistant football coach and special education teacher's assistant at Birmingham High School in the San Fernando Valley, was arrested Tuesday. Thomas had also been coaching the Canyon Cowboy varsity defense as a volunteer for the past several weeks.

"He has been out working with the (Canyon) football team since spring practice started," said Rochelle Neal, assistant superintendent of human resources and student services for the William S. Hart Union High School District. "It has been unofficial, and it has been as a volunteer."

No complaints regarding Thomas' behavior were received during his time at Canyon High; however, in light of his recent arrest, Thomas will no longer be part of the Cowboy coaching team, Neal said.

"As far as him continuing (to coach), he will not be on our campuses or anywhere near our campuses during the investigation," she said.

Detectives believe that there may be other victims in the San Fernando Valley case, since the teenage victim was a participant in a private basketball workout program that Thomas held at Birmingham between 2004 and 2006.

Neal said that Thomas could still be considered for the coaching position he was seeking at Canyon High if the charges against him are determined to be unfounded.

Thomas went through a coaches' training session with the Hart district in January, but he never filed a formal application and has not gone through the fingerprinting, application screening, interviews or other processes required for employment in the district, Neal said.

There is currently no screening process for Hart district volunteers, she said.

Anyone with information about inappropriate contact with Thomas should call investigators from the Van Nuys Detective Sexual Assault Unit at (818) 374-0040 or (818) 374-9500.


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