Former Dover Twp. woman accused of having sex with 2 teens, sexting a third
A former Dover Township woman accused of having sex with two teenage boys and sexting a third is free on bail.
Lauren Ray Thomas, 30, now of West Hanover Street in Hanover, was arraigned Wednesday, Dec. 4, by District Judge David Eshbach. He set bail at $50,000 unsecured, meaning Thomas didn't have to post any cash to remain free but must abide by bail conditions and attend all court proceedings or risk forfeiting that amount.
Her conditions include having no contact with any minors except when the court makes an exception.
She is forbidden from having contact with anyone at Dover Area School District and also is forbidden to attend school events and activities, Eshbach ordered. Charging documents don't identify where the teens attend school, but this bail condition strongly suggests Dover Area students were involved.
The judge also ordered Thomas not to use her computer or the internet for unlawful purposes, then asked her whether she understood what's legal and what's illegal when it comes to computers and the internet.
"I do now," Thomas replied.
She is charged with one count each of statutory sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor/sexual offenses, which are first-degree felonies.
Thomas also is charged with three counts of unlawful contact with a minor/obscene and other sexual materials or performances, one count of possession of child pornography and two counts of solicitation to commit child pornography. All those charges are third-degree felonies. Finally, she's charged with two misdemeanor counts of corruption of minors.
'Accepts responsibility': At her preliminary arraignment Wednesday, she and defense attorney Rick Robinson told the judge that Thomas doesn't abuse drugs or alcohol, is a lifelong resident of York County, is now in therapy related to the charges and accepts responsibility for her actions.
She waived her right to a preliminary hearing on her charges, after which Eshbach set her formal court arraignment date for Jan. 10.
Northern York County Regional Police Detective Stephen Lebo told the judge that Thomas has no prior criminal history and cooperated with the police investigation.
Outside the courtroom, Robinson declined immediate comment.
Lauren Thomas' husband, West York Police Officer Ryan Thomas, was an assistant coach for Dover Area High School's football program for a portion of 2019.
Northern Regional Deputy Chief Dave Lash said Ryan Thomas had nothing to do with his wife's alleged crimes, was unaware of them and cooperated with the police investigation into them.
West York Police Chief Matt Millsaps told The York Dispatch that when he learned of the investigation into Lauren Thomas, he checked to see if Ryan Thomas was in any way involved.
Millsaps said he determined Ryan Thomas wasn't suspected of, or involved in, any wrongdoing "or anything that could affect his status as an officer."
The allegations: According to charging documents filed Wednesday, Lauren Thomas and a 16-year-old boy sexted each other nude photos and videos.
Police obtained records from Snapchat indicating that she and the teen exchanged more than 1,200 photos and 14 videos between Aug. 16 and Sept. 13, documents allege. Lauren Thomas deleted her "miss.ray12" Snapchat account on Sept. 15, police said.
The teen told police Lauren Thomas wanted to have sex with him but that he made excuses as to why he couldn't meet her, according to charging documents.
While being interviewed by police on Sept. 20, Lauren Thomas gave investigators the name of a second alleged victim and said she'd had sex with him in the summer of 2018, documents allege.
That youth told police he was 15 years old when he heard through a friend that Lauren Thomas thought he was "cute," which prompted him to get her phone number and start texting with her, police said.
"(Victim 2) advised that L. Thomas soon started sending fully body nude photographs of herself to him via text message," documents state.
The youth said that about a week after they started communicating, they arranged to meet in person and started having sex, according to charging documents.
He said that they had sex twice a week for several months until January, when he stopped communicating with her, documents allege.
Third teen: On Oct. 7, Lauren Thomas called police and told them there was a third teen with whom she had sex, police allege.
Officers then spoke with that teen, who confirmed he and Lauren Thomas exchanged nude photos from the early months of 2019 until about July and that they had sex on one occasion in April, charging documents state. He was 16 years old during that time frame, police said.
Investigators examined the teen's cellphone and found 171 photos and videos that Lauren Thomas and the teen texted to each other, "many of which contained fully nude photographs of both L. Thomas and (victim 3)," charging documents state.
The text exchanges happened between May and August, according to police.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.