by Ethan Stewart
Closing arguments in the rape trial of former Devereux School employee Darren Boyer Thomas (pictured) concluded this week, with a jury verdict expected as soon as this Friday. Thirty-nine-year-old Thomas — who is charged with raping and impregnating a developmentally disabled resident at the school in December 2003 — took the stand on Monday afternoon as the sole witness for the defense. In an occasionally heated exchange with prosecutor Joyce Dudley, Thomas repeatedly professed his innocence, despite DNA evidence linking him to the aborted child. Thomas also defended his testimony at the pre-trial hearing last February, for which he has since been charged with perjury. A surprise prosecution witness, moved by an article he read in The Independent last winter, testified on Monday that Thomas’s account of the DNA seizure by cops at a Goleta Starbucks in June 2004 was incorrect. Thomas’s attorney, Steve Baylash, has refuted the DNA evidence, citing possible typographical errors in the report and pointing to the fact that Thomas does not have syphilis, while both the victim and the fetus tested positive for the sexually transmitted disease. If convicted, Thomas faces as many as 13 years in a state prison.