ELYRIA — A probation officer with Lorain County Adult Probation who was placed on unpaid leave was arraigned in court Monday.
Bryan Thomas, 58, was arraigned on misdemeanor charges of dereliction of duty, sexual imposition and menacing in Elyria Municipal Court before visiting Judge John Ridge.
Thomas pleaded not guilty to all three charges. Ridge said Thomas could face a maximum of 180 days in Lorain County Jail and $1,500 in fines if found guilty.
Thomas, who has been with Adult Probation since April 2010, was placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation into allegations against him was underway. Last month, a Lorain County grand jury indicted Thomas on the misdemeanor counts, and his leave was shifted to unpaid.
Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Chris Cook, who is overseeing the investigation into the allegation against Thomas, said further action will be taken against Thomas if the situation warrants it.
Thomas was scheduled to be arraigned July 20, but Thomas failed to show, according to court documents. Ridge issued a bench warrant for his arrest. Thomas turned himself in to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office later that night. Thomas had been out of the country during the first arraignment, according to court documents.
Thomas was released from Lorain County Jail on $2,250 bond.
Ridge was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court as visiting judge in the matter after Judge Gary Bennett and Judge Robert White each recused themselves from the case. A special prosecutor also was appointed in the matter.
Thomas is next set to appear in court Oct. 9 for a pretrial, and if the case were to go to trial it would take place Nov. 11.