California High School Wrestling Coach, Thomas Snider, Accused of Molesting 25 Students

© Torrance Police Department Thomas Snider.
© Torrance Police Department Thomas Snider.

A Torrance teacher was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of molesting 25 students he coached on the high school’s wrestling team, authorities said.

Thomas Snider, 47, was charged with 33 felony counts of inappropriately touching children and eight misdemeanor counts of child molesting, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Snider, a longtime teacher and coach at Torrance High School, turned himself in to the Torrance Police Department, whose detectives investigated the alleged sexual misconduct for the last three months.

The 25 students he’s accused of molesting were all members of the school’s wrestling team, said Torrance police Sgt. Paul Kranke. The students ranged in age from 13 to 16 and the alleged misconduct occurred between September 2013 and January 2015, according to the criminal complaint.

After several students came forward with allegations of sexual abuse in January, Snider was placed on paid administrative leave and detectives launched a “lengthy and detailed investigation,” Kranke said. After his arrest, Snider was placed on unpaid leave, according to a statement from the Torrance Unified School District.

Snider’s attorney, Rosty Gore, insisted that his client is innocent and said the longtime educator has been “extremely cooperative” with authorities.

“He categorically denies any merit to any criminal charges he may face,” said Gore, noting that the investigation and ensuing charges have taken a toll on Snider, his wife and three children.

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Source: Los Angeles Times | Matt Hamilton

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