Northwestern student charged with sexual assault can return home to NJ following changes to bail conditions


(Source: Northwestern Facilities Management)

The Kellogg Jacobs Center, where Scott Thomas allegedly sexually assaulted a female student. A judge relaxed his bail conditions on Wednesday.

Cameron Cook, Web Editor

A Northwestern student charged with sexual assault will be allowed to return home to New Jersey to live with his parents, a Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled on Wednesday.

Scott Thomas was arrested by University Police late last month on charges of sexual assault against a female student. He is no longer enrolled at the University.

Thomas appeared in court with his attorney, Northwestern Law Prof. Jeffrey Urdangen, who motioned to change the conditions of Thomas’s bail.

Thomas was originally required to remain within the court’s jurisdiction under GPS tracking to ensure he didn’t come near the alleged victim or the University’s campus and refrain from contact with any Northwestern student. However, Judge Paul Pavlus decided there was “no better way” than Thomas’s return to New Jersey to ensure he keep away from campus. He also ruled Thomas’ GPS would be removed.

Pamela Stratigakis, the plaintiff’s attorney, reminded Pavlus that the female student — identified only as AZ — was “incoherent” at the time of the assault and that surveillance footage shows her falling to the ground multiple times and asking Thomas to stop. Stratigakis argued that because of the “extremely serious charges,” Thomas should remain in Cook County.

Stratigakis also requested the GPS be reactivated when Thomas returns to Cook County for future court dates, but Pavlus refused.

Urdangen withdrew as Thomas’s lawyer, citing a conflict of interest following the court appointment, leaving Shelby Prusak to take his place.

Prusak said she is “looking forward to” reviewing the evidence, including surveillance footage that shows Thomas allegedly holding AZ up against a glass door and assaulting her. Urdangen declined to comment.

Thomas is scheduled to appear again in court April 10.

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Twitter: @cam_e_cook

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