Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
Sex for Urine
September 15, 2012 permalink
DCF employee Andrew Thomas offered to help a Florida mother pass a drug test by providing her with a clean urine sample, but he asked her for sex in exchange. Investigators suspect he may have victimized other clients in a similar manner.
Former DCF investigator accused of soliciting sexual favors from woman he was helping
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. —
A former state employee was arrested Friday for soliciting sexual favors from a New Smyrna Beach woman in exchange for using his own urine for her drug screening, according to investigators.
WFTV learned a former Florida Department of Children and Families investigator was arrested Friday after investigators said he asked for sexual favors from a New Smyrna Beach mother he was supposed to be helping.
Investigators said 32-year-old Andrew Thomas pressured the victim for sexual favors in exchange for using his own urine sample to help her pass a drug screening.
"Yeah, he was scary. He seemed like he could have gotten aggressive and that's why I was scared,” the victim told WFTV. "It's not right. That's not the way he's supposed to do his job."
Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Thomas on Thursday. Thomas was booked into the Cumberland County Prison in Pennsylvania where he will await extradition back to Volusia County.
He's been charged with bribery by a public servant, official misconduct and falsifying records.
Investigators said the incident happened on May 8 at the 22-year-old victim's home near New Smyrna Beach. The woman told Volusia County Sheriff's investigators that Thomas told her he needed a urine sample for a drug test so that he could close her DCF case.
Investigators said the woman complied, but Thomas claimed her sample tested positive for drugs. Thomas told the woman that his supervisor would likely want him to notify the woman's probation officer of the bad results.
However, investigators said Thomas told the woman that he wished he had taken the test for her, using his urine and said he could lose his job for helping her, so she would need to do something to prove he could trust her.
“He was going so far to bribe this woman to get his own personal gratification of sex, which is definitely beyond the pale,” said Brandon Haught, with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim told investigators that at one point she tried recording the conversation using her cellphone, but Thomas noticed and ordered her to delete it and to have sex with him.
Investigators said the victim took off her clothes, but they did not engage in sex. They said Thomas then provided a urine sample and had the victim sign paperwork attesting to having passed the drug screening.
The victim notified Thomas' supervisors at DCF. The next day, investigators said Thomas moved out of his residence and submitted a letter of resignation to DCF stating that he was moving to Pennsylvania to be near family.
A Volusia County Sheriff's investigator contacted Thomas in Pennsylvania and during an interview, Thomas confirmed what the victim told deputies. The arresting affidavit shows he admitted to the whole thing and said he was "in a dark place. Drinking, doing drugs, and buying hookers every night."
Investigators believe Thomas may have other victims. They said another woman has already come forward and said that Thomas, who was assigned to her DCF case, called and texted her late at night. Investigators said the woman said that he complimented how she looked, invited her to the beach and to go gambling, and asked her about body massages and sex.
Anyone with information about additional such encounters is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (386) 423-3301 or (386) 423-3888.
Addendum: Kid-gloves for the offender in this kind of case. No jail time, no criminal record.
Former DCF investigator gets probation in clean-drug-test-for-sex case
DAYTONA BEACH -- A former Florida Department of Children & Families investigator was sentenced on Wednesday to three years' probation as part of a plea stemming from accusations he offered a woman his drug-free urine in exchange for sex.
In an unusual move, Andrew Thomas, 32, was offered the plea agreement over the woman's objections that the punishment was not severe enough. The woman was not in court but was aware of the plea hearing, prosecutor Chris Miller said.
Miller said it was uncommon to offer a plea opposed by the victim. “It's very unusual,” Miller said. “But it's not unheard of.”
Thomas pleaded no contest to official misconduct, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Circuit Judge R. Michael Hutcheson withheld adjudication of guilt, meaning Thomas will be able to say he is not a convicted felon and won't lose rights such as the right to vote or own firearms.
Hutcheson sentenced Thomas to the three years' probation, along with 50 hours of community service and ordered him to continue undergoing mental health counseling.
In exchange for the plea, Miller agreed to drop two additional charges: bribery by a public servant, a second-degree felony, and falsifying records, a third-degree felony.
In agreeing to the plea, Miller said he had to take into account other factors beyond the victim's objections.
Miller said he was concerned about the credibility of his witness and his ability to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. He also added that Thomas did not have a criminal record.
Thomas did not comment as he walked out of the courtroom. He put his dark ball cap on his shaved head and walked into the rain.
His defense attorney Allison Thero had told the judge that Thomas would be back on a plane and out of state on Wednesday after the hearing.
Miller said he also took into account that Thomas had left the state and would not be living near the woman.
The charges stemmed from a visit Thomas made on May 8, 2012, as a DCF investigator to one of his cases, a woman near New Smyrna Beach. Thomas was accused of trying to get the 22-year-old woman to have sex with him by telling her that her urine test had tested positive for drugs.
Thomas told her that he wished he could help her by taking the test for her, police said. Thomas then said that he would help her if she demonstrated he could trust her by having sex with him, police said.
The woman did not have sex with Thomas but satisfied him by removing her clothing, police said. Thomas used his drug-free urine sample and signed off on documents saying she passed her drug test, police said.
The woman's boyfriend later called Thomas to confront him about what happened. Thomas claimed he felt pressured to help her and that he was trying to close all her DCF cases.
Thomas resigned the day after being notified of the complaint.
Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal