Former Cal Fire SLO captain barred from changing guilty plea

May 22, 2024


A former San Luis Obispo County Cal Fire captain cannot withdraw his guilty plea to a sexual battery charge, a judge ruled. [Tribune]

James Peter Thomas, 59, allegedly groped a 37-year-old female coworker in 2020. 

In May 2023, Thomas pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of sexual battery, which requires him to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Then in September, Thomas told the court he was unaware of the sex offender registry requirement when he pled no contest. 

At the time, Judge Michael Frye ruled in favor of Thomas, and he set a trial date. However, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office later submitted a motion to reconsider the decision, and subsequently, the ruling was vacated.

On Wednesday, Frye ruled in favor of the prosecution, which argued Thomas had been informed of the sex offender registry requirement and that the defendant did not have a valid reason to withdraw his plea.

Thomas’s sentencing is now scheduled for June 5. In addition to his name going in California’s sex offender registry for 10 years, Thomas could face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. 


1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That’s good. I definitely wouldn’t want to see this guy “bare.”