Former teacher gets life in abuse case
10/25/2013, 6 a.m.
A DeKalb private school teacher who molested a number of troubled boys while serving as their mentor will serve three consecutive life terms plus 10 years in prison.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Linda Hunter sentenced former Miller Preparatory Academy for Boys teacher Casey Thomas on Oct. 18 after a DeKalb County jury found him guilty on 17 of the 18 counts outlined in the indictment.
The counts include charges of aggravated child molestation, cruelty to children and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Thomas, who did not have a college degree or any formal certifications, molested the boys while he was teaching at the Decatur school.
DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said Thomas is a predator who rightfully deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“This sentence sends a loud message that child molestation will not be tolerated in DeKalb County,” James said. “Hopefully, this sentence will begin the healing process for the victims and their family members.”
Assistant District Attorney Donna Stribling, who was the lead prosecutor on the case, said the crimes have changed the families forever.
“Casey Thomas manipulated and preyed upon children who were looking for a role model and in need of a strong father figure,” she said. “What they found was a monster and a pedophile.”
The jury returned the guilty verdicts after more than 20 hours of deliberation.
During the sentencing, several of the jurors wiped away tears as family members addressed the judge.
James said Thomas’ sentence cannot make up for what he did.
“There is no amount of time behind bars that will erase the stain of injustice these young victims had to endure by Casey Thomas,” he said.