2012-03-01 / Local & State

Former Resident Gets State Time For Assault

Thomas Tomlinson sentenced for indecent assault of little boy
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Thomas Tomlinson Thomas Tomlinson A former McConnellsburg man maintained his innocence right up to the announcement of a multi-year sentence in a state correctional institution Tuesday morning.

Appearing for sentencing on 10 counts each of indecent assault of a child, indecent exposure, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor, 42-year-old Thomas John Tomlinson told Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Angela Krom he was “not guilty of anything.”

Speaking for the defense, sister in-law Jennifer Tomlinson of Fannettsburg stated that in the 10 years she has been acquainted with Tomlinson he has never given any reason to believe he was capable of such acts. Jennifer Tomlinson cited a “lack of concrete evidence” given at a jury trial in November 2011 and concluded it was a case of “he said, she said.”

The mother of Tomlinson’s 13- month-old daughter also took the opportunity to stand before the court on February 28. She too stated she felt he didn’t receive a fair trial.

Defense attorney Eric Weisbrod noted that even though there is nothing that can be done about the jury’s guilty verdict, he would ask the court to consider imposing a local sentence with eligibility for work release. Meanwhile, Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall countered a recommendation for sentencing prepared by the Probation Department was “too lenient.” He said it gave the impression that crime is “cheaper by the dozen” or a bargain based on volume. While he did not suggest sentencing on each and every one of the 40 counts, Kendall did ask for sentencing on all 10 indecent assault charges.

According to Judge Krom, who presided over the jury trial, sufficient evidence was presented at the trial for a jury to find Tomlinson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In turn, she said she is compelled by the law to follow and implement the jury’s verdict.

She added she had no reason to doubt the testimony of the victim, who was between the ages of 5 and 11 when the assaults occurred. She also concluded there was no motive for false accusations.

The judge ordered Tomlinson, 42, to complete between 2-1/2 years and 10 years in a state correctional institution in connection with one count each of indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor. An additional one count each of the corruption of minors and indecent exposure drew prison sentences that will run concurrently or simultaneously with the prior charges. The remaining 36 counts will require a special probationary period to be overseen by the state parole board.

Tomlinson, formerly of 11 Cloverleaf Court, will complete the requirements for lifetime registration through Megan’s Law. He may not have unsupervised contact with any individual under the age of 18 aside from his daughter.

In prior testimony given in the case, the victim’s mother said she and her husband became concerned about the boy in May of 2010 when he became “withdrawn, untidy and defiant.” Until then she said her son had been a good student and was “never the rebellious type.”

When questioned, she said the boy broke down crying and said Tomlinson had “hurt him and taken away his innocence.” Counseling began within days.

The inappropriate activity reportedly occurred every two to three months between October 2001 and June 2007. During the first occasion, Tomlinson is said to have told the boy he and his mother would go to jail if he told anyone.

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