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Thomas case moves forward

Former Alabama legislator and principal of Wilcox Central High School James Thomas filed a waiver of arraignment in Wilcox County Circuit Court Oct. 13 according to District Attorney Michael Jackson.

Thomas was issued an indictment in July on first-degree sexual abuse and school employee having sexual contact with a student under 19.

Thomas was arrested in November 2010 by Wilcox County Sheriff’s Department officials and charged with first-degree sexual abuse.

The charges against Thomas stemmed from a complaint filed by a 17-year-old student at Wilcox Central High School, where Thomas was principal at the time.

He was released on $15,000 bond.

At the time of his arrest, interim school superintendent Rosa Ashmond said Thomas was placed on administrative leave immediately. Thomas was a tenured employee, which under state law means he will continue to receive pay while on administrative leave.

Ashmond said she did not know of the allegations against Thomas until the high school’s secretary called her that morning to tell her authorities had arrested the principal.

“The student’s family went directly to the sheriff,” Ashmond said.

Thomas was again arrested in December while attending a basketball game between Wilcox Central and Selma for violating the terms of his bond.

Thomas served 28 years as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives in District 69, which includes portions of Autauga, Dallas, Lowndes and Wilcox counties.
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