Clark upholds computer usage ban for Thomas
by Franklin Clark, Reporter --
Sep 01, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trigg County District Judge Jill Clark ruled again Tuesday morning that a defendant accused of online sexual contact with a minor is not to use a computer.

According to court documents, David Neal Thomas, 38, was arrested and charged with two counts of use of an electronic communications system to procure a minor to commit a sexual offense, which is a class D felony.

At Tuesday’s court appearance, Tom Hall, a friend of Thomas’s family, said he

wanted to represent Thomas pro bono. Hall and Jack Faust, who also represented Thomas, again wanted Clark to allow Thomas to be able to use a computer so that he might be able to return to work after the school’s investigation is finished.

“I feel confident that Thomas will be exonerated in this case,” said Hall, who said he has known Thomas since Thomas was a child. “I don’t think he’s a predator.”

Trigg County Attorney H.B. Quinn disagreed with the idea, stating that Clark successfully argued at the last hearing that such a condition is normal when charges of this nature are made.

Clark refused to revoke that condition, stating that although his livelihood depends on computers, since the crimes of which Thomas is accused are electronic in nature, she didn’t want him to have another opportunity to commit them.

Hal Hopson, attorney for the Trigg County Board of Education, said if that restriction was lifted, Thomas could be put on paid administrative leave during the school’s investigation, which he said was still underway.

Trigg County School Superintendent Travis Hamby was also present, although he did not speak before the judge.

At last Tuesday’s court hearing, Thomas’s public defender wanted Clark to revoke the conditions that he not be able to use a computer and that he stay away from school property. Clark refused to do so, and stated that Thomas is also to stay away from all minors.

The grand jury will meet soon to discuss formal charges against Thomas, Clark said.

KSP Spokesman and Trooper Dean Patterson said Thomas had been communicating over the Internet with the juvenile when she was 16 years old. She is now 17.

Hall said at Tuesday’s court hearing that the girl represented herself to be “well over 18” years old when she was communicating online with Thomas.

Kentucky State Police began the investigation after being contacted by the juvenile’s mother about suspicious electronic messages sent to her daughter. Arrest warrants were served on Thomas after his vehicle was stopped on Main Street in Cadiz.

Hamby has said Thomas has been the school’s district technology coordinator since 2007.
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