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San Jose, CA - South Bay Teacher, Shawn Thomas, Arrested for Alleged Rape of Student Decades Ago at Leigh High School

San Jose, CA - Leigh High School Teacher and Football Coach, Shawn Thomas, Accused of Raping Two Students
Published: March 26, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on March 26, 2024

California Teacher Arrested for Alleged Rape of Former Student Decades Ago

According to NBC Bay Area, a South Bay teacher has been arrested in connection with the rape of a student more than two decades ago. Shawn Thomas, 56, a resident of Los Gatos, was apprehended on March 22, 2024, after a report was received by the San Jose Police Department regarding an alleged sexual assault that occurred between 2002 and 2003 at Leigh High School, located at 5210 Leigh Ave, San Jose, CA 95124.

At the time of the alleged incident, Thomas served as a teacher at Leigh High School while also fulfilling the roles of a football coach and a track and field coach at Los Gatos High School, located at 20 High School Ct, Los Gatos, CA 95030. The police were notified of the incident on March 8, 2024, by an individual who was not the victim.

"The fact that this was a teacher and involving a minor eliminates any statute of limitations, and we take this matter very seriously," emphasized Stacie Shih, Senior Public Relations Representative of the San Jose Police Department.

Following his arrest, Thomas was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on charges of rape and sexual assault of a minor. Disturbingly, investigators discovered that Thomas was still employed as a teacher at Leigh High School when he was taken into custody.

In response to the incident, the Campbell Union High School District has taken swift action, placing the accused teacher on administrative leave and strictly instructing him to refrain from any contact with students or staff.

"The district is actively cooperating with the investigation and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students," stated the Campbell Union High School District superintendent.

The Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District, where Thomas served as a coach, has highlighted its stringent protocols for hiring coaches, which include comprehensive background checks and fingerprinting before their initial employment. The district remains committed to maintaining a safe environment for its students.

Authorities are urging anyone with information related to this case or other similar incidents to come forward and contact Detective Camarillo #4576 of the San Jose Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Detective Camarillo can be reached via email at or by phone at 408-273-2959.

As the investigation unfolds, the community remains deeply concerned about the alleged misconduct and its impact on the victim and others who may have been affected. The authorities are determined to ensure justice is served and encourage the support of the public in bringing any additional information to light.

Bobby Thompson, Esq. California Lawyer - Legal Herald
Hi, I’m attorney Bobby Thompson. I’m a lawyer here in California and if you or a loved one were injured in an accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options. Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
(888) 997-3792

Navigating Legal Options For Survivors of School Sexual Assault

In a recent interview, we engaged in an informative conversation with Bobby Thompson, Esq., an experienced California child sex abuse lawyer. Bobby explained the options available to victims who have experienced abuse at the hands of school teachers or coaches. Discover how victims can take action through civil cases against the liable parties, empowering themselves and seeking accountability for the wrongs they have endured.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Thompson. As a local California child sex abuse lawyer, could you help us understand the options victims of abuse by a school teacher or coach may have in pursuing a civil case against those responsible?

Bobby Thompson, Esq. (BT): Thank you, Darla. It's a critical topic, and I'm glad to share some insights. Victims of abuse by school teachers or coaches do have legal avenues to seek justice through civil cases. These cases can help hold the liable parties accountable and provide some measure of compensation for the victims' suffering.

DM: That's important to know. Could you elaborate on the process that victims typically go through when pursuing a civil case?

BT: Certainly. When victims decide to pursue a civil case, they usually begin by consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. The attorney will guide them through the legal process, which typically involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building a strong case against the responsible parties.

DM: And what parties can be held liable in these civil cases?

BT: In cases of abuse by a person of authority at a school, there may be multiple parties who can be held liable. This can include the individual perpetrator, the school district, administrators, and even other staff members who may have been aware of the abuse but failed to take appropriate action. Each case is unique, and liability is determined based on the specific circumstances and evidence presented.

DM: Are there any time limitations or other legal considerations victims should be aware of when considering a civil case?

BT: Yes, time limitations, known as statutes of limitations, vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of case. Recent changes have extended or removed these time limits. It's crucial for victims to consult with an attorney promptly to understand their rights and any deadlines for filing a claim. Additionally, laws surrounding these cases can be complex, so having a knowledgeable attorney who understands the legal landscape is essential.

DM: What advice would you give to victims who might be hesitant or unsure about pursuing a civil case?

BT: I understand that coming forward and pursuing legal action can be overwhelming for victims. However, it's important for them to know that they are not alone. Seeking legal recourse can provide a sense of empowerment, validation, and financial support to aid in their healing process. I encourage victims to reach out to a trusted attorney who can provide guidance and support throughout the legal journey.

DM: Thank you, Mr. Thompson, for shedding light on this important matter and providing valuable information to our readers.

BT: Thank you, Darla. It's been my pleasure to contribute to the conversation and raise awareness about the options available to victims of abuse by school teachers or coaches.

Compassionate Support for Victims of School Sexual Assault: Reach Out for a Free Consultation Today

To all survivors of sexual abuse, we want to emphasize that you are not alone. If you or your loved ones have been victims of abuse by a school teacher or coach, our dedicated team is here to provide compassionate support and guidance. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your legal options and navigate the path towards justice. Your voice matters, and we are committed to standing by your side every step of the way. Please don't hesitate to contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.


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Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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