San Francisco man faces life imprisonment for 10-year sex abuse of kids

A San Francisco man is facing 50 years to life in prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting two minors for 10 years, prosecutors said.

Robert Thomas, 56, pleaded guilty to multiple child sex assaults between 2001 and 2011. He also admitted aggravated sexual assault of a child (sodomy) and that he had a prior strike offense, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said in a statement Thursday.

Thomas was also convicted of committing a lewd act upon a child, and he confessed that the offense was committed against more than one victim.

Authorities in May 2011 found that a female victim had been sexually assaulted by Thomas since 1998, when she was 8 years old. He would touch her body and threaten to kill her if she told anyone about his actions.


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When she was nine, the abuse became worse, with Thomas sodomizing and orally copulating her. At the age of 12, he attempted to rape her, and by the age of 15, he had raped her on multiple occasions. He threatened to kill not only her but also her family members every time after he was done sexually assaulting the victim, prosecutors said.

Police arrested Thomas in May 2011 after the victim reported him. During the investigation, detectives learned that he also had sexually assaulted other girls and women who ranged in age from 8 to 19.

Investigation revealed that in March 2001, Thomas sexually assaulted a girl who was 12 years old then. In the middle of the night, he woke her up and whispered for her to come in his direction. When she complied and sat between his legs for a massage as Thomas told her to do so, he slid his hand under her T-shirt and touched her breast and the rim of her underwear.

The victim screamed, and he pleaded with her to not tell anyone.

"I would like to thank the survivors of these horrific crimes for their courage and for trusting in my office to deliver justice for them," District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement. "These survivors have waited far too long to receive justice. Finally, Mr. Thomas will now face consequences for his depraved crimes. I hope the outcome of this case sends a message of hope to those suffering and a warning to perpetrators. My office will leave no stone unturned and do everything in our power to ensure there is accountability, no matter how long it takes."

"This case is a testament to the power and strength of sexual assault survivors," said Assistant District Attorney Melissa Demetral. "Not only were they incredibly brave to report the abuse, but they also persevered for years as the case made its way through the justice system. They stand together as seven fierce women to reclaim their power, a power that the defendant took from them for so long. I am truly honored to have met and worked with every single one of them. The defendant's conduct in this case is truly deplorable.  And this plea reflects the gravity of his conduct."

Thomas' sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 6, according to the District Attorney's Office.