Torrance Teacher, Wrestling Coach Accused of Lewd Acts Involving Children

The teacher and wrestling coach is facing 33 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child and eight misdemeanor counts of child annoyance, police said

A teacher and wrestling coach at Torrance High School turned himself into detectives on Wednesday amid accusations he committed lewd acts against at least 25 male students, police said.

Thomas Joseph Snider, 47, was charged in connection with 33 felony counts of lewd acts on a child and eight misdemeanor counts of child annoyance, according to a statement from the Torrance Police Department. His bail has been set at $900,000.

"He came and turned himself in," Torrance Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Kranke said.

Snider's arrest marked the end of a three-month investigation conducted by the Torrance Police Department. Police began investigating claims against Snider on Jan. 26 after "concerns" were reported to high school administrators.

During the course of the investigation, he was placed on administrative leave from the school district. Following Snider's arrest, the Torrance Unified School District released a statement saying that the teacher and athletic coach "is now on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the proceedings."

Snider was hired as the Torrance High School wrestling coach two years ago, according to the school district.

Torrance High School Principal Karim Girgis sent a letter to parents, students, faculty and staff on Wednesday. The letter confirmed Snider's arrest and stated that the the school and the district "take student safety very seriously."

Citing the case as a "personnel and legal matter," the district said it "will have no further comment pending the outcome of the court proceedings."

Snider's attorney could not be reached for comment.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Torrance Police Department Detective Division at 310-618-5570.

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