Inland Empire: Man Sentenced to 135 Years

Photo courtesy of San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office Edward Thomas Booking Photo

Photo courtesy of San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office
Edward Thomas Booking Photo

Staff Reports

SAN BERNARDINO- After jury deliberations that lasted less than an hour, a Michigan man was found guilty last month on nine counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. Edward Thomas, 53, was sentenced for his crimes at the West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga on January 19.

Thomas received 135-years-to-life in state prison for the sexual assaults of his biological daughter that took place over a ten-year period between 1995 and 2005.  Each count carried a 15-year-to-life sentence.

The charges stem from multiple incidents dating back to when the victim, Jane Doe, was approximately 5 years old and living in Fontana. The abuse went on until she was approximately 15 years old, but Jane Doe never told anyone, including her mother, Lucy.

“Due to fears that there could potentially be more victims, Jane Doe was finally able to disclose the terrible abuse she endured for over ten years,” said Deputy District Attorney Morrissa Cardoza, who prosecuted the case.

In 2013, Jane Doe disclosed the abuse to her mother.  Her mother then wrote the defendant a letter confronting him about the allegations.  Thomas responded by apologizing for everything and begging for forgiveness.  The mother, Lucy, then contacted the Fontana Police.

According to DDA Cardoza, the defendant was living in Michigan when the case came to light, so detectives from the Fontana Police Department flew out to interview him, and again, the defendant confessed.   He was arrested in March.

“However, he was unwilling to plead guilty because he was charged with aggravated sexual assaults, and he always maintained that none of the molestation was forcible,” DDA Cardoza said.

The victim, Jane Doe, is now 25 years old and is serving as an active member of the United States Army.