BURKE COUNTY, GA (WFXG) -
Coach Travis Thomas was denied bond Friday on the charge of sexual assault by persons with supervisory authority. It’s his second felony charge involving allegations that he touched a middle school student inappropriately at school and on a school bus.
Sheriff Alfonzo Williams says, “It’s the person that you know very well and very close."
Coach Travis Thomas Had access to young children as a basketball coach and co-teacher with Burke County Public Schools. He’s accused of touching a middle school boy’s genitals with the palm of his hand.
Sheriff Alfonzo Williams says investigators generally work each case for many years. “And I’ve worked hundreds and hundreds of them. And you do believe that other people may come forward, that has not happened in the instant case but the potential is always there.”
Thomas is spending his third night in the Burke County Detention Center. Denied bond at his first appearance for sexual assault by persons with supervisory authority, a felony charge.
Sheriff Williams said parents should talk to their children about ‘good touch and bad touch’. “Start talking to their children about how to identify those body parts, what those body parts are used for. Who is authorized to touch them in certain areas, who’s not authorized.”
He said listen to your kids and watch for signs of sexual abuse. A sudden change in behavior, like Failing grades, misbehavior or being withdrawn. “Bedwetting, bloody underclothing, doesn’t want to spend time with that family friend.”
More signs are unexplained gifts, money or someone showing too much interest in them. He said try to develop a bond with your children so that they know they can confide in you or another responsible adult. “They need to know that they can be believed, the need to know that they’re going to be supported. That they’re going to be protected.”
Adults should then follow through with police intervention, contacting social service or making sure the child gets counseling. Video evidence from a school bus during a school athletic trip in Savannah is also under review. The sheriff’s office says more charges cold be forthcoming.