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.


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