Former KSU athlete arrested for rape

Sasha Parker

Former Kent State basketball player Eric W. Thomas, Jr. was arrested Friday on charges of rape, aggravated burglary and felonious assault, according to a Ravenna Police report.

According the report, Thomas kicked in the door of his ex-wife’s home, assaulted a man inside, causing multiple fractures to his jaw, nose and eye socket, and then proceeded to rape his ex-wife.

Thomas, 28, is being held at the Portage County Jail under a $500,000 cash bond. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. Friday, according to the report.

“I remember Eric Thomas as an integral member of our great Elite Eight program and a four-year varsity letter-winner who received his degree from Kent State,” said Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy in a statement issued yesterday.

Thomas, who was the coach of the Ravenna High School junior varsity boys basketball team, was arraigned Friday afternoon at the Portage County Municipal Court in Ravenna.

In a statement issued by the Ravenna superintendent, Tim Calfee, Thomas has been relieved of his coaching duties “pending the outcome of the charges against him.”

The Kent State athletic department also issued a statement saying that the banner recognizing Thomas’ retired jersey will be removed from the M.A.C. Center. Once the allegations have been resolved, the department plans to re-evaluate its position on reinstating Thomas’ banner.

“It saddens me to see someone that I have a tremendous respect for be involved in such serious allegations,” Kennedy said in the statement. “At the same time, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this incident.”

Contact public affairs reporter Sasha Parker

at [email protected].