Freshman charged with solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor, suspended

Andrew Tyler Thomason, a freshman soccer player, is charged with solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Thomason was arraigned this morning in Jackson City Court.

According to the affidavit, Thomason solicited a 14-year-old girl on July 29 for nude photos using the application Kik. The girl produced at least three nude images, which she gave to Thomason through the application, the affidavit stated.

The charge is a Class B felony.

When investigator Terry Buckley interviewed Thomason, Thomason confirmed that he had received the images and also sent nude images of himself to the girl, the affidavit stated.

Thomason told Buckley he did not know how old the girl was, although he knew she was a high school freshman.

Kik is a messaging app with more than 120 million registered users, according to Forbes. Around 40 percent of American teenagers have tried the app.

Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver, university president, received a phone call notifying him of the arrest Wednesday.

“My heart breaks when we hear of things like this,” Oliver said Wednesday. “Again, it’s a reminder that we live in a broken and fallen world and the choices that people make lead to some really difficult consequences. We’ll cooperate in any way we need to with police authorities.”

Mark Kahler, associate vice president for University Communications, confirmed that Thomason was a student and said he has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

Thomason’s next hearing will be Sept. 11, according to City Court.

Thomason previously attended Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson and turned 18 on March 7, according to his Facebook page.

Image courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream
About Katherine Burgess 70 Articles
Katherine Burgess, a class of 2015 journalism alumna, is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Cardinal & Cream. Her journalism has taken her from a United Nations Tribunal to the largest maximum security prison in the United States to Capitol Hill. She is now the Education Reporter for the Jackson Sun. Follow her on Twitter @kathsburgess