A long chapter in Savannah political history has seemingly come to an end with a Chatham County Grand Jury's decision Friday not to recommend charges against City Alderman Tony Thomas in the wake of a GBI investigation that began in February.
14 of 18 jurors agreed that Thomas's activities involving underage people rose to the level of misdemeanor, but not felony status.
In addition, those 14 found that the allegations against Thomas were outside the statute of limitations and thus weren't eligible for consideration.
District Attorney Meg Heap reported in a statement:
“Multiple victims’ testimonies corroborated that Mr. Thomas displays a pattern of grooming young males to become sexual partners," Heap says jurors found.
Heap said that while Mr. Thomas’ actions "clearly" violated state law, "unfortunately they are only misdemeanors and not felony cases."
"Testimony included a pattern of behavior by Mr. Tony Thomas that could be described as a person trying to obtain sexual contract with another person in a predatory manner," Heap said.
The main factor cited by jurors in their decision was the statute of limitations.