A former head coach of the Torrance High School wrestling team who was found guilty of 37 counts of lewd acts and child molesting earlier this month was sentenced to more than 64 years to life in prison Friday afternoon, officials said.
Earlier this month a jury found Thomas Joseph Snider, 48, guilty of 26 counts of lewd acts upon a child 14 or 15 years old, three counts of felony lewd acts upon a child under 14 and eight misdemeanor counts of child molesting. He was arrested and pleaded not guilty in April 2015.
The jury also found true that there were multiple victims, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Sobs and gasps could be heard in the courtroom when the sentencing was announced Friday. Snider is married and has three daughters.
He molested 25 students between 13 and 16 years old while working as a wrestling coach at the school in 1995 and 1996 and from 2013 to 2015, prosecutors said during the trial.
He molested the victims under the guise of inspecting them for skin diseases, according to evidence presented during the trial. Snider would make the victims take off their clothes and would sometimes touch their genitals, officials said.
Snider also watched students shower and would massage several of them, according to prosecutors.