LANCASTER – A registered sex offender was convicted last week on charges that he molested two Antelope Valley girls after he befriended their mother and was invited into the family home.
A jury deliberated for about three hours before finding 52-year-old Jeffrey Lee Thomas guilty Thursday of two counts of committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14 and one count of continuous lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, according to Deputy District Attorney Scott A. Yang. The jury also found true the special circumstance of multiple victims.
The conviction stems from molestations that occurred about five years ago in Palmdale and Lake Los Angeles, according to the prosecutor.
In 2010, Thomas befriended the mother of an 8-year-old girl and was invited into the family’s Antelope Valley home. Weeks later, Thomas began fondling the young girl, and the molestation continued several times per week over the course of three years, Yang stated.
Thomas also molested the victim’s older half-sister, who was about 12 or 13 when the molestation began, according to the prosecutor. “This criminal act occurred with almost the same frequency as the first victim,” Yang stated.
Thomas was arrested in June of 2014, and the case against him was filed about a month later, according to court records.
There was no physical evidence against Thomas, only the testimony of the victims.
“They courageously testified against him and helped me convict the defendant of all counts,” Yang stated. “Justice was served.”
During the course of the trial, the prosecutor also presented evidence that Thomas committed similar crimes 15 years ago against an unrelated victim.
Thomas is a lifetime registered sex offender who was convicted in 2002 of two counts of lewd acts upon a child and one count of forcible lewd act upon a child.
Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21 at the Antelope Valley courthouse in Lancaster. He now faces up to 150 years to life in state prison.