Principal, former Ala. rep. charged with sex crime

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

WILCOX CO., AL (WSFA) - The principal of Wilcox Central High School has been placed on administrative leave indefinitely following an arrest Wednesday on a sexual abuse charge.

District Attorney Michael Jackson confirmed that James Thomas, a former state representative, was arrested and charged with 1st Degree sexual abuse relating to an incident involving a 17-year-old student.

Thomas was booked and taken to the Wilcox County Jail. Bond has not been set. Jackson said more charges may be filed, but did not release any other information regarding the case.

School officials say this was "completely unexpected," but added that counseling is being offered to the student and her family.

Thomas was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives for the 69th District (Autauga, Dallas, Lowndes and Wilcox) in 1982. Thomas was defeated for re-election in 2010.

In an unrelated incident, a fire also broke out at Wilcox Central High School Wednesday. The fire swept through a maintenance room and into part of the school auditorium. Minor damage was reported and school will continue Thursday as scheduled.

WSFA 12 News has a crew in Wilcox County this afternoon and will have the latest on WSFA 12 News at 5:00 and 6:00.

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