Former RI high school coach suspended after GA confirms investigation

NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI (WPRI) – The longtime former North Kingstown High School men’s basketball coach has been put on leave from his new post as the Attorney General investigates allegations of improper interactions with former student-athletes who are minors.

Monsignor Clarke School in South Kingstown today announced in an email to parents that Aaron Thomas has been put on administrative leave.

“The school received a complaint that one of our recently hired college teachers acted inappropriately while previously employed at another public school,” according to the email, which noted that there had been no allegation of misconduct on the part of Bishop Clarke.

Target 12 has independently verified that the Thomas investigation is focused on the skinfold body fat thickness tests he performed on selected student-athletes in North Kingstown for several decades. Students called them “fat tests”.

Police records obtained by Target 12 show that the teens involved told detectives they were naked and alone with the trainer behind closed doors, without a consent form, without notification from parents or other witnesses present.

Target 12 learned that the North Kingstown Police Department learned of Thomas’ behavior as early as 2018, but did not fully investigate until early this year. After several months, they determined that no criminal charges could be brought against the former coach.

But in response to questions from Target 12 this week, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter Neronha, Kristy dosReis, said the Thomas investigation “remains under review.”

Officials from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, which oversees the Monsignor Clarke School, said the attorney general’s office contacted them with the same message.

“The Diocese of Providence was informed today by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office that an investigation has been opened into allegations of misconduct involving a teacher at Monsignor Clarke School in Wakefield while he was a teacher and coach at another non-Catholic establishment. school, ”said Diocese spokesman Michael Kieloch.

Bishop Clarke’s decision to put Thomas on administrative leave came after Target 12 asked questions during the final stages of a months-long investigation to determine whether he had acted inappropriately.

Thomas – who did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Target 12 – started at Bishop Clarke this fall after resigning from North Kingstown High in June.

When asked about Thomas, North Kingstown Superintendent Phil Auger told Target 12: “The North Kingstown School Board and School Department cannot legally comment on personnel issues involving current or former employees.

The North Kingstown Police Department declined to discuss details of the investigation, stating only “the department recognizes the role the media play in our society and we will always cooperate with the needs they serve while operating in our society. the limits of the law “.

If you have more information on this story, contact [email protected]

Eli Sherman ([email protected]) is an investigative reporter for WPRI 12. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Tim white ([email protected]) is the Editor-in-Chief of Target 12 and Chief Investigative Journalist at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.


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