The former Valley Home School District superintendent and principal that had been charged with felony child molestation died on Sunday, May 12.
According to the Stanislaus District Attorney’s Office, Thomas Kevin Hart, 60, passed away in an unnamed nursing home where he had been receiving treatment.
Last month Hart had his trail delayed due to his inability to attend because of an unspecified medical condition. The charges he was facing are now dismissed due to exceptional circumstances.
Hart was arrested by Oakdale Police in July 2011 when he was leaving the Stanislaus Superior Court on an unrelated matter. The police had been investigating Hart for the child abuse that had been brought forward by a child therapist a week prior to his arrest.
Court records allege the acts occurred over a two-year period in Hart’s Oakdale home. One of the incidents allegedly occurred when Hart was bathing two children. Hart contends he was just trying to remove fecal matter from the children’s private parts and there was no sexual molestation involved.
In July 2011, the Valley Home School Board voted unanimously, 5-0, to place Hart on administrative leave and changed it to unpaid compulsory leave in August 2011.
Hart had been principal-superintendent of the 170-student district since 2008. A new principal-superintendent was hired by the school district in January 2012.