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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Coach suspected in sexual assault

June 12, 2008|Ann M. Simmons

An assistant coach at Birmingham High is suspected of sexually assaulting an underage girl, Los Angeles police said.

Kevin Thomas, 40, who is also a special education teacher's assistant, was arrested Tuesday, said Capt. Jim Miller, commanding officer at the LAPD's Van Nuys station.

Thomas has been charged with sexual assault with a foreign object and is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, Miller said.

The girl, who is now 19 and a former student at Reseda High School, was allegedly assaulted multiple times between 2004 and 2006, Miller said.

She came forward Monday on the advice of her parents and because Thomas "had tried to reestablish a relationship with the victim that caused her concern," Miller said.

Thomas was arrested near her house, detectives said.

Based on information from the teen, authorities believe there may be other victims, Miller said. The girl had participated in a private basketball training camp coached by Thomas, and it's possible other participants may have been assaulted, he said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call detectives at (818) 374-0040 or (818) 374-9500; after hours or on weekends call (877) 529-3855.

-- Ann Simmons

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