Lawsuit Accuses Leigh High School Coach of Raping and Forcing Abortion of Student

The law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard has filed a lawsuit against the Campbell Union High School District claiming that Leigh High School teacher Shawn Thomas impregnated a young student in 2003 and forced her to have an abortion. Thomas was arrested by the San Jose Police Department last month after the former student disclosed to law enforcement that he raped her while she was a student at the school.

The young victim, named as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, began the 2002-2003 school year as a freshman at Leigh High School. Thomas was one of her teachers. Thomas, the lawsuit states, allegedly began grooming her for his sexual advances, and sexually assaulting her numerous times including on school grounds in his portable classroom and in a storage room within the boys’ locker room and impregnated her at age 15.

On one occasion while Thomas was engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim in his portable classroom, Thomas's wife Sarah, the Dean of Leigh High School at the time, discovered the victim alone with her husband in his classroom after the two abruptly stopped having sex because they saw her approaching, it is alleged in the lawsuit.

In or around the Spring of 2003, the lawsuit claims that Thomas insisted that Jane Doe have an abortion, which she did, after he had impregnated her.

After becoming pregnant, Jane Doe allegedly disclosed to Sarah Thomas that Shawn Thomas had sexual intercourse with her. According to the lawsuit, Thomas's wife allegedly responded by blaming the victim, asking the young student how she could do this to her after all she had done for her. The lawsuit claims that no District employee, including Thomas' wife, reported the abuse to law enforcement or CPS nor did any District employee take any action to protect the victim or terminate Thomas. Shawn Thomas, according to the lawsuit, continued sexually assaulting the victim on school grounds, including engaging in sexual intercourse with her in a storage room within the boys’ locker room.

"Leigh High School had every opportunity to prevent the abuse of my client," attorney Lauren Cerri said. "There were red flags everywhere that Shawn Thomas was a sexual predator. Even worse, a direct report was made by my client and completely ignored."

At the time of his arrest last month, Shawn Thomas was a teacher at Leigh High and also a football coach and a track and field coach at Los Gatos High School. He is charged with the rape and sexual assault of a minor.

Shawn Thomas is well known in the South Bay Area athletic community. He was a 3-sport athlete at Leigh High School and was inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also played football at San Jose State University. He served as the football coach at Leigh HS from 2001-2010 and also served as an assistant coach at Valley Christian HS San Jose in 2012 before his current coaching assignments at Los Gatos High School.

Sarah Thomas has been employed by the Campbell Union School District for more than 20 years.

Based on our initial investigation, attorney Lauren Cerri believes there may be many more victims. She is asking those with information about Thomas to call her office at 408-289-1417.

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