SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The North Kingstown School Department has agreed to give a lawyer for three former student-athletes all records, videos, computer files, and documents related to former high school basketball coach Aaron Thomas within 45 days.
Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter signed a consent order after the school’s lawyer, Mary Ann Carroll, and the students’ lawyer, Timothy J. Conlon, reached an agreement, according to documents filed in court Friday. The school department is agreeing to preserve the records, while redacting information that identifies students.
Conlon is asking the school department to turn over all of the records tendered by Thomas or his lawyers, civil attorney Timothy Dodd and criminal attorney John E. MacDonald, that involve students at the high school, fat testing, and the Canton, Mass. company Athletic IQ, as well as any communication he had with students, and records in his computer at his home or office related to his employment in North Kingstown.
The judge refined the initial request, refocusing it on the three former students whom Conlon is representing.
Thomas, 54, is under criminal investigation by the attorney general’s office after former athletes going back to the mid-1990s alleged that he had performed “body fat” tests on them while they were naked and alone with him in his office, using skin-fold calipers on their groins, upper thighs, and buttocks. One told the Globe that the fat tests began when he was 13 years old.
Conlon issued the subpoena for the records in anticipation of litigation, writing in a letter to Carroll on Nov. 26 that the school department needed to “lock down” the records, after Thomas admitted that he took school records when he cleaned out his office.
MacDonald told the Globe last month that Thomas took “300 signed consent forms spanning 10+ years” from teen male athletes and their parents allowing Thomas to perform body-composition tests. The “weight testing agreement” did not specify what the tests were about, nor disclose that students would be asked to be nude. MacDonald later said that the forms were returned, at the request of the school department’s lawyer.
“I don’t know who else is knowingly or unknowingly allowed free reign to remove school records, but I know that it’s time to make sure these materials are locked down,” Conlon wrote in a letter with the consent order.
Conlon also has subpoenaed Thomas for records. Thomas denied in an affidavit that he had anything. After conferring with Dodd and Conlon, the judge on Friday granted the writ ordering Thomas to retrieve any written or electronic documentation relating to John Doe One, John Doe Two, and John Doe Three, and submit it within 45 days.
“Thomas moved communications about school business off the school system and through private servers, and created his own network for communicating with students about body fat testing,” Conlon told the Globe outside the courthouse Friday. He said that he has been in communication with more people regarding Thomas’s actions, including students who said they had been fat tested as recently as 2020. While the judge’s decision on Conlon’s request refined the scope to just the three former student-athletes that he is representing, Conlon said he expects there will be more legal avenues that he will pursue.
Thomas did not appear in the courtroom on Friday.
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