High School Coach Charged With Allegedly Molesting Students After Making Them Strip For ‘Body Fat’ Tests

A former high school basketball coach in Rhode Island has been charged with child molestation and sexual assault after authorities discovered he’d been running a disturbing “fat-testing” program.

Aaron Thomas, a 55-year-old man from North Kingstown, Rhode Island, is being charged with allegedly engaging “in sexual contact” with two minors. Thomas is a former teacher and boys’ basketball coach at North Kingstown High School, where he worked from 1990 to 2021.

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According to WPRI-TV, former students at the school claimed Thomas would allegedly convince student-athletes to “strip down to their underwear” in a closet in the boys’ locker room. The disgraced coach apparently used the ruse that he was measuring the athletes’ body fat percentages. Students told the outlet the man would ask them if they were “shy or not shy” as a way to convince them to strip.

One unnamed former student spoke anonymously to the TV news outlet. In a heartbreaking statement, he recalled doing as told because of the pressure he felt and dreams he had about playing basketball for the well-known program:

“I didn’t want to be ‘not shy’ because my entire childhood I wanted to play varsity basketball for North Kingstown. A lot of my heroes were ex-players that played there, people I looked up to, especially [Thomas]. I really wanted him to like me, I wanted him to respect me.”


According to a release published on Thursday by the office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha, Thomas is being charged with second-degree child molestation. The release claims the now-former coach “engaged in sexual contact with a victim under the age of 14 … by force or coercion … for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or stimulation.” Investigators assert the incidents took place between 2000 and 2002. Prosecutors say Thomas may have done the “body fat testing” to athletes on the school’s football and wrestling teams, too.

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Timothy Conlon, the attorney representing the two victims in the case, released a response to the charges. Speaking to People on the matter, the attorney stated:

“This will have an an impact on the school administration in North Kingstown, and I hope throughout the region. We hope it will begin a culture change in the sports environment with kids and parents, and a change in culture with other teachers/coaches, so they don’t ignore warning signs or look the other way when they encounter concerning behavior, regardless of the status of the particular coach or educator involved.”

Now, the North Kingstown School District is scrambling following the latest legal maneuver. Interim Superintendent Michael Waterman stated to the mag that the district is “ready to assist” authorities with their investigation in Thomas’ alleged action. Waterman added:

“We have taken actions to further support and protect our students, from important changes to existing policies as well the adoption of new district policies designed to ensure all of our students are safe within all of their educational environments.”

Here is more on Thomas’ arrest, from WPRI-TV (below):

Such a terrible situation for those poor student-athletes. And so much trauma for them to carry through adulthood. Per People, Thomas’ next court date will be on August 19.

[Image via WPRI-TV/YouTube/YouTube]

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