A teacher and wrestling coach at Torrance High School has been charged with multiple counts of child annoyance and lewd acts involving as many as 25 male students, police announced Wednesday.
Thomas Joseph Snider, 47, turned himself in and was arrested without incident following a three-month investigation, a news release from the Torrance Police Department stated.
Brian Araiza, a captain on Torrance High School’s wrestling team, reacted like many of his classmates Wednesday.
“I think they’re shocked and … everyone really doesn’t know what’s gonna happen next,” Araiza said.
Detectives with the department began investigating Snider back in January after several students accused the coach of sexual misconduct. He was placed on administrative leave while police conducted the investigation.
Araiza admitted he had heard rumors about Snider’s alleged sexual misconduct from his teammates, but said he never believed it.
“They said it was happening,” Araiza said. “But I never really paid attention.”
After the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case, Snider was charged with 33 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child and eight misdemeanor counts of child annoyance, police said in the release.
He was being held on $900,000 bail. Snider was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, according to county jail records.
Torrance High School is located at 2200 W. Carson St. in Torrance (map).
As of April 15, Snider remained on the list of faculty at the school.
“Mr. Snider has been a TUSD teacher since 1990, teaching career technical education courses,” according to a statement released Wednesday from the Torrance Unified School District. “He was hired as the THS wrestling coach two years ago. As this is a personnel and legal matter, the District will have no further comment pending the outcome of the court proceedings.”
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call the Torrance Police Department Detective Division at 310-618-5570.