By, Chris LeDoux
*Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include a statement from BrightSpring Health Services, who oversees the operation of Texas Hill Country School.
The San Marcos Police Department is investigating the sexual assault of a Gary Job Corps student, which occurred last week.
On Thursday, Willie George Thomas, IV was arrested on sexual assault charges after the 19-year-old Gary student called police and reported he had been sexually assaulted; the victim had locked himself in a room and called for help.
Anthale Williams, the victim’s mother, said she received a phone call from a San Marcos Police Detective informing her of the incident.
Her 19-year-old son had been attending Gary Job Corps since February, and Williams had been initially keeping her distance to help him adjust to being away from home.
According to Williams, her son reported Thomas had offered to drive him to San Antonio to see her; he had requested a two-day absence from campus on Thursday.
Interim SMPD Chief Bob Klett said, “The [alleged] offender transported the victim to his home the day before and the assault, which was sexual in nature, happened the next day.”
Williams told Corridor News, her son had planned on surprising her with a visit; Thomas had told him if he stayed the night off-campus, they could leave early Friday morning, and he would have three full days with his family.
Thomas posed as an Uber driver to get onto the Gary Job Corps Center campus Thursday to pick him up, according to the victim.
Williams said officials from Gary Job Corps had informed her that Thomas had recently been fired for a similar incident.
However, Corridor News could not find a record of any previous arrests in Hays or surrounding counties’ records.
“What I’ve always taught my kids is if you’re ever in a situation, you have to flip it; you got to act like you’re okay, and you’re not really scared,” Williams said. “Talk their ear off or whatever. That way that person will probably go to sleep.”
Thomas’s Facebook page states he worked as a Residential Advisor at Gary Job Corps but currently works at Texas Hill Country School.
Corridor News reached out to Gary Job Corps and Texas Hill Country School for comment and neither had returned our phone calls as of press time.
BrightSpring Health Services, who oversees the operation of Texas Hill Country School, returned Corridor News’ call Wednesday morning and issued the following statement regarding Thomas’s arrest.
“We are immensely concerned by the allegations and in no way condone the alleged behavior. Texas Hill Country Schools follow very stringent, state-regulated hiring practices. In instances like this, when an incident occurs involving an individual we employ, we take immediate action. Our top priority is providing the safest possible environment for our residents and other staff.”
Last week’s arrest for Thomas wasn’t listed on the SMPD Arrest Report for Nov. 14 or Nov. 15.
“My son, being 19, is able to check himself out,” Williams said. “The problem with that was Job Corps’ policy that anything that happens off-campus is not their concern. That didn’t sit well with me.”
Williams said she and her son have signed paperwork to allow the GJCC to notify her whenever he leaves campus in the future.
Williams and her family are going “full-throttle” with the case and was informed that it was now in the hands of the Hays County District Attorney.Willie George Thomas Case number PREFCR-19-3539-C Gary Sexual Assault November 20 2019