Thomas Case Goes to the Jury


By CBS 8 News


Jurors have begun deliberating the fate of a former legislator accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old honor student at the school where he was principal.


In closing arguments Wilcox County District attorney Michael Jackson said former Democratic Rep. James Thomas of Selma forced the female student to touch his penis and talked provocatively to her behind the closed doors of Wilcox-Central High School's principal's office.


Defense attorney Lewis Gillis of Montgomery asked jurors to find Thomas innocent. He said the woman's testimony was filled with inconsistencies with her earlier statements and with other witnesses.


The woman, now 19, testified Thomas kissed her, caressed her hair and put her hand on "his private parts."


Circuit Judge Jack Meigs declined a motion to dismiss charges. Jurors began deliberations about 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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