News Releases

October 28, 2016: Former High School Coach Sentenced to More Than 64 Years to Life For Lewd Acts with Students

Contact: 
Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

The former head coach of the Torrance High School wrestling team was sentenced today to a total of 64 years and eight months to life in state prison for lewd acts on 25 students, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Thomas Joseph Snider, 48, of Torrance, was found guilty on Oct. 13 of 26 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child 14 or 15 years old, three felony counts of felony lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 and eight misdemeanor counts of child molesting.

Deputy District Attorneys Hyunah Suh and Juree Kim prosecuted case YA092267.

While working as a wrestling coach in 1995, 1996 and from 2013 and 2015, Snider molested students between the ages of 13 and 16 years old under the guise of inspecting them for skin diseases, according to witness testimony. During the alleged inspections, the defendant would make the victims take off their clothing and would sometimes touch the victims’ genitals, the prosecutors said.

Snider also watched students shower and would massage several of them, the prosecutors added. School officials became aware of the conduct after students told opposing team members about the nude skin checks.

The case was investigated by the Torrance Police Department.