Tennessee man sentenced in Mathews child sex case

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jul 31, 2019 - 02:59 PM

Edward Charles Thomas, 62, of Lotts, Tennessee, was sentenced last week in Mathews County Circuit Court to 10 years in jail on each of two counts of object sexual penetration of a child under the age of 13 years. The convictions were for crimes that were committed nearly three decades ago. The two sentences are to be served consecutively, for a total of 20 years.

Thomas was convicted of the crimes, which occurred in Mathews County in 1990 and 1991, under a plea agreement that was reached in March. In the plea agreement, he stipulated that the evidence, if presented, would have been sufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

York County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Donna Maw was the special prosecutor in the case. The defendant’s attorney was Conrad Bareford of Mathews. The trial date for the case was originally set for December 2017, but was postponed repeatedly until the final hearing in March before Judge Jeffrey W. Shaw.

Major John Williams of the Mathews County Sheriff’s Office said that allegations of sexual abuse regarding Thomas were received by the sheriff’s office in 2017. Substantial evidence was recovered through the course of the investigation through military records which corroborated that these acts of sexual abuse had indeed been committed, he said. Based on the evidence, a Mathews grand jury indicted Thomas in July of that year. Williams said that investigators traveled to Tennessee, where search warrants were obtained for Thomas’s residence. He was subsequently arrested and extradited to Virginia.