Disclaimer: The contents of this article contain disturbing charges that may not be suitable for some readers.
Thomas Evans Baird was indicted on Tuesday, Jan. 9 by the Coffee County Grand Jury for 34 counts relating to sexual acts with multiple minors. He was booked into Coffee County Jail on Friday, Jan. 11 with a $100,000 bond, which he later posted.
The charges, which include at least 14 class B felonies, are as follows:
- Two counts on continuous sexual abuse to a child
- Six counts of indecent exposure
- Twelve counts of exploitation of a minor to observe sexual activity
- Three counts of aggravated sexual battery
- Five counts of sexual battery by authority figure
- Three counts of attempt sexual battery by an authority figure
- One count of attempted rape
- One count of attempted aggravated statutory rape
- One count of attempted statutory rape by an authority figure
Coffee County District Attorney General Craig Northcott said the charges are from 2016 until present day. There are multiple alleged victims, ages 12-15, Northcott said.
“It’s a horrible situation and certainly a lot of lives ruined,” he added. “We will obviously continue to investigate and pursue these charges.”
If Baird, 79, is found guilty on all counts, he could be in jail for the rest of his life, as class B felonies each carry a minimum of eight years in prison. Some charges may overlaps and merge into one conviction as the trial continues, Northcott said.
Baird, a Manchester resident, will be in court for an arraignment on Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. Due to these indictments, previous court date, scheduled for Feb. 14, will be dismissed.
Baird was Westwood Junior High School’s band director for 30 years. He is the vice chairman of the Manchester Historical Zoning Society and is a member of the Manchester Steering Commission.