Hollywood photographer accused of sexually assaulting young men aspiring to be models

On May 7, 2024, The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office charged Thomas with six felony sexual assault charges and the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a warrant for his arrest for $1.525 million. Investigators from the LAPD Fugitive Warrant Section located Thomas out of state, arrested him and extradited him to Los Angeles. Detectives booked him on June 25, 2024 and he remains in custody pending arraignment in late July.
William Isaac Thomas Jr. faces six felony sexual assault charges. (Los Angeles Police Department)

Los Angeles police are asking for the public’s help to locate witnesses and potential victims in the case of a Hollywood photographer charged with sexually assaulting three young men aspiring to be models.

William Isaac Thomas Jr., 49, presented himself as an industry expert to young men and then after they hired him as their agent, “forced them to submit to sexual assault under duress,” according to an LAPD statement.

The district attorney’s office charged Thomas in May with a half-dozen felonies, including sodomy, in connection with three men, who were between the ages of 18 and 20 at the time. The LAPD said Friday that detectives have identified three other clients Thomas allegedly assaulted and believe he is “responsible for additional unreported sexual assaults.”

Thomas was arrested out of state and extradited to L.A., where he was jailed Wednesday, police said. He is being held on $1.5-million bail and could not be reached for comment. The charges carry a potential life sentence.

The investigation into Thomas began in March 2023 when an 18-year-old reported being “sexually battered” at the photographer’s residence, according to an LAPD press release. Sex crimes detectives turned up additional evidence suggesting Thomas had assaulted other young men between the ages of 17 and 21 and threatened to ruin their careers if they protested, police said.

The alleged assaults occurred between 2017 and last year, according to the district attorney’s office.

“He preyed upon young men by promising them jobs and monetary opportunities he never delivered,” LAPD Det. Brent Hopkins said in a statement. “Once he made them reliant on him, the abuse began.”

Releasing a photo of Thomas after his arrest, the detective said, “Now that he is no longer able to harm these victims, hopefully more will be able to tell their story.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.