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Wife of child rape suspect charged from same incident

PLANKINTON -- The wife of a man awaiting trial for multiple counts of raping a minor has been charged with sexual exploitation more than a year after her husband's arrest.

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PLANKINTON - The wife of a man awaiting trial for multiple counts of raping a minor has been charged with sexual exploitation more than a year after her husband's arrest.

Elizabeth Thomas, 36, of Plankinton, was charged on Dec. 19 with sexual exploitation of a minor, stemming from a summer 2010 incident in which she allegedly engaged in group sex event involving a then-13-year-old girl, according to court documents and Aurora County State's Attorney John Steele.

Thomas allegedly confirmed the incident during a law enforcement investigation in May 2015, which led to the arrest of her husband, Christian Thomas, 43, who is scheduled to face a jury trial in which he is charged with multiple counts of fourth-degree rape, sexual contact with a child and sexual exploitation of a minor.

Elizabeth Thomas was released on a personal recognizance bond on Dec. 20 and was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class 6 felony, punishable upon conviction by up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.

As early as November 2008, Christian Thomas is accused of having sex with the juvenile girl and convincing her to perform sexual acts with Larry Unruh, 43, who was also believed to be involved in the group sex act in 2010.

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Christian Thomas' trial is scheduled to run from Feb. 6 to 10. It was originally scheduled to occur in January 2016. Steele said the delay was caused by a number of factors, including a change in attorney.

After a new attorney was appointed, the defense hired an expert to investigate extensive electronic evidence, but Steele is confident the trial will take place as scheduled.

"The judge has kind of made it pretty clear that we're going to trial. If it's going to be a trial, it's going to be at the date he has set," Steele said.

In July 2015, Unruh pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree rape and sexual contact with a child under 16. He was sentenced on Nov. 25, 2015, to 20 years in prison, where Steele said he remains today.

Related Topics: CRIME
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