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D.C. youth summer jobs supervisor pleads guilty to sex offense

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2011

A supervisor in the D.C. Summer Youth Employment Program pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge stemming from sexual advances he made upon a teenager, U.S. Attorney for the District Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Thomas Nelson, 54, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. He faces up to three years and nine months in prison and a fine of up to $37,500 when he is sentenced on sentencing for Oct. 21. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for a 10-year period.

According to a statement of facts submitted to the court, Nelson was assigned to the Department of Employment Services in Southeast. His duties included giving his 17-year-old victim daily assignments, providing guidance about how to go about work duties, and releasing her and others in his group for lunch and then again at the end of the day.

Prosecutors said that on June 29, Nelson made sexual advances toward the girl. Later, he released all of the other youths on their lunch break, except for the girl. He told her that he had something to show her on a computer in a partially hidden cubicle in the back of his office. He made lewd remarks to her, touched her inappropriately and undid his pants and exposed himself. At that point, another youth came into the office, and Nelson pretended to be working on the computer. The girl left for lunch and soon received a text message on her cellphone from Nelson that stated, "this stays between you and me."

At the end of the day, the victim told her mother what happened. The next day, they reported Nelson's conduct to the police. He was arrested and has been in custody ever since.

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