Adoptive father gets state prison

Date: 2009-01-06

Rick Lee
Daily Record/Sunday News

The six adopted children of John and Carol Thomas stuck together following the arrests of the Thomases more than two years ago on child abuse allegations.

And they remain together in a new foster home after the Thomases were sent to prison -- Carol for one to two years in November and John for three to seven years and a consecutive five years of probation on Monday.

John Henry Thomas, 54, of West Manchester Township, pleaded no contest to sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor in September. Carol Thomas, 60, pleaded no contest to one count of endangering the welfare of a child at the same hearing.

The initial allegations against John Thomas included rape, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful restraint, corruption and endangerment. Those charges were dismissed in his plea agreement with the York County District Attorney's Office.

John Thomas was accused of raping one of the older girls and physically abusing the others beginning in 2003. Carol Thomas was charged with failing to protect the children from her husband.

Both publicly and adamantly denied the allegations until entering their pleas.

As they had at Carol Thomas' sentencing hearing, several children stepped forward to confront John Thomas at his penalty hearing Monday, telling him he belonged in prison.

John Thomas' sexual assault conviction requires him to register with Pennsylvania State Police as a Megan's Law sex offender for the rest of his life, Chief

Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Moore, of the district attorney's special victims unit, said Monday.

Moore said the children and their guardians were consulted about the plea agreements and sentences and all were in agreement.

"It means the children get to close this chapter of their lives," he said.

Moore said he has dealt with thousands of child abuse victims in York County over the years.

The Thomas children "are probably the strongest I have seen," he said.

"They are all together in a foster home and doing well," Moore said. "They are going to be able to move on with their lives. They are going to do fine."

John Thomas' attorney, Lori Yost, declined to comment after Monday's hearing.

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