June 2, 2008


Cortland teacher charged with raping student

Staff Reporter

CORTLAND — City Police charged a Cortland Junior High School teacher Saturday with having sex with a 15-year-old student at the school.
Nicholas W. Thomas, a 26-year-old eighth-grade social studies teacher, was charged with third-degree rape, a felony, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors.


Thomas, of 21 Duane St., Cortland, was arraigned and sent to the Cortland County Jail with bail set at $1,000 cash or $2,500 bond. He posted the $1,000 cash bail and was released from jail Sunday.
Thomas appeared again in City Court this morning and bail was continued. His next City Court appearance is June 18.
Court records were unavailable this morning.
City police, along with county District Attorney David Hartnett and the State Police began an investigation into the allegation that Thomas was having sexual relations with a 15-year-old female student.
After the investigation, numerous interviews Friday and Saturday and a search warrant, which was executed at Thomas’ classroom Friday night, Thomas was arrested.
Lt. Paul Sandy of the city police department said he could not make any additional comments on the case and said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.
The District Attorney’s Office would not comment on the charges, citing the ongoing investigation.
Thomas is a graduate of Richfield Springs Central School in Otsego County. He attended Tompkins Cortland Community College before transferring to SUNY Cortland, where he received a bachelor’s degree in social studies. Thomas completed his student teaching requirements at Homer Junior High School, where he continued to work as a long-term substitute for technology and social studies, according to an October 2006 edition of The Tiger’s Paw, the Cortland School District’s newsletter.
He was hired at the Cortland Central School District in 2005.
Ron Berry, the Cortland Junior High School interim executive principal, refused to comment this morning.

—— Staff reporters Ian Boudreau and Christine Laubenstein contributed to this article.


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