Courtney Albert Thomas of Columbus pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of child molestation of a teen at a home near Bunker Hill Road.
Thomas, 35, also pleaded not guilty to one count of marijuana possession in an unrelated case in Recorder’s Court. Judge Mary Buckner set bond at $250 on the marijuana possession and ordered Thomas held on $15,000 bond on the molestation charge. Police learned that Thomas was wanted on the molestation charge after he was arrested Friday for marijuana possession on Armour Road.
Police detective Ron O’Neal said a relative of the 14-year-old girl came to the Public Safety Center on Jan. 3 to report a sexual assault. The relative identified the man as Thomas who made advances toward the girl a couple of weeks before she was asleep on the floor at a cousin’s house. While asleep, she felt the man’s body part pressed on her face.
He said, “I’m laying with you tonight,” O’Neal told the court. The teen said she jumped up, ran into the bathroom and used her cellpone to call a relative.
The teen said Thomas later apologized to her about the incident on the floor. O’Neal said the teen was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center where she told authorities about the incident.
If Thomas is released on bond, Buckner ordered the suspect to stay away from the victim while the case is pending. Thomas represented himself at the hearing but made no statement.