Sentencing for Convicted Leeper Child Rapist Continued Again
Sentencing for 56-year-old David Johnathan Thomas, of Leeper, was continued for a second time on Wednesday, March 13.
According to a representative of the Clarion County District Attorney’s office, it was continued at Thomas’s attorney’s request due to an emergency that prevented the attorney from being able to appear in court.
A date for the continued sentencing has not yet been set.
Thomas was convicted on the following charges:
– Rape Forcible Compulsion, Felony 1 (12 counts)
– Sexual Assault, Felony 2 (12 counts)
– Aggravated Indecent Assault W/O Consent, Felony 2 (14 counts)
– Aggravated Indecent Assault – Complainant Less Than 13 Years Old, Felony 2 (two counts)
– Aggravated Indecent Assault – Complainant Less Than 16, Felony 2 (two counts)
– Incest (12 counts)
– Corruption Of Minors, Misdemeanor 1
– Indecent Assault Person Less 13 Years Age, Misdemeanor 1 (four counts)
– Indecent Assault-W/O Consent Of Other, Misdemeanor 2 (16 counts)
– Indecent Assault Person Less 16 Years Age, Misdemeanor 2 (four counts)
He was originally scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, February 6.
A Clarion County jury convicted Thomas on 79 sexual offenses against him based on “a pattern of sexual abuse” lasting nearly 10 years. The jury deliberated for approximately 1.5 hours on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, before delivering their unanimous verdict to convict him on all charges filed against him.
Thomas is currently lodged in the Clarion County Jail.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Marienville-based State Police Trooper Shawn Nicewonger, the investigation was initiated on November 12, 2017, when police received a report from Clarion County Children & Youth Services (CYS) pertaining to the alleged sexual abuse of the victim.
Further investigation by the State Police and CYS investigators revealed that Thomas sexually assaulted the victim on numerous occasions dating back to 2006.
The case was tried Clarion County 1st Assistant District Attorney Drew Welsh.
“The Clarion County District Attorney’s office has taken a hard line on child molesters,” said Welsh. “Sexual offenses are traditionally the most difficult cases to prosecute. Predators will often hope to take advantage of this difficulty, or hope that by taking a case to trial, the child they have victimized will be too traumatized to testify.”
“This case, and numerous other recent convictions, sends a message that the District Attorney’s office will not back down. We will continue to fight for justice and stand up for the victims of sexual violence.”
Welsh emphasized that the seriousness and number of charges will allow Judge Arner to have broad discretion in the length of the defendant’s sentence.
“I intend to ask the judge to show no leniency in this case due to the horrendous nature of the crimes,” said Welsh. “Tracy Park, the victim advocate for the District Attorney’s Office, as well as (Marienville-based State Police) Troopers Shawn Nicewonger and Kathy Watters played critical roles in this prosecution.”
“The true hero is the victim. The courage she showed by coming forward is incredible. It takes true bravery to be able to testify in front of a jury of strangers all while being asked difficult questions and having the man who abused you for nearly a decade sitting nearby watching. The most rewarding part of this conviction was seeing the tears of relief roll down her cheeks after the verdict was read.”
“She was vindicated, and justice was served.”
EDITOR’S NOTE 1: Extreme graphic details were not included due to the sexual nature of the alleged crimes.
EDITOR’S NOTE 2: Several details were removed from this article to help protect the identity of the victim.
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