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Former representative Thomas convicted of sexual contact with student

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CAMDEN, AL (WSFA) -

Former State Representative James Thomas has been convicted of having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19. 

Thomas was convicted in Wilcox County Court this morning at around 10:30, Judge Jack Meigs, presiding. 

Judge Meigs placed Thomas in the Wilcox County Jail pending sentencing on December 13.  As a  part of the conviction  Thomas must now register as a sex offender with notification. 

On Thursday jurors began deliberating the fate of the former legislator accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old honor student at the school where Thomas was principal.

In closing arguments Wilcox County District attorney Michael Jackson said former Democratic Rep. James Thomas of Selma forced the female student to touch his penis and talked provocatively to her behind the closed doors of Wilcox-Central High School's principal's office.

Defense attorney Lewis Gillis of Montgomery asked jurors to find Thomas innocent. He said the woman's testimony was filled with inconsistencies with her earlier statements and with other witnesses.

The woman, now 19, testified Thomas kissed her, caressed her hair and put her hand on "his private parts."

Circuit Judge Jack Meigs declined a motion to dismiss charges.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

AP contributed to this story.

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