Felony charges dismissed against Georgia’s Rara Thomas

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

ATHENS — The felony warrant against Georgia wide receiver Rara Thomas was dismissed Friday in a deal between his attorney and prosecutors that should allow Thomas’ reinstatement to the team.

Thomas has entered a pretrial diversion program to resolve a misdemeanor charge of family-violence battery. According to his lawyer, Thomas was taking an anger-management course in the process of completing 40 hours of community-service work and will have to pay service fees to the court. Upon completion of those requirements – and dependent upon staying out of further trouble over the next 12 months – the misdemeanor charges will be “restricted” (also known as expunged) from Thomas’ record.

“We’re happy that we were able to work with the district attorney’s office to reach a resolution that was fair and just and agreeable to all of the parties, including the alleged victim,” Kim Stephens, Thomas’ Athens-based attorney, said Friday.

Thomas was suspended from the Georgia football team at the time of his arrest. UGA’s code of conduct for athletes stipulates that anyone charged with a felony crime is restricted from all team activities until the case is resolved. Athletes charged with misdemeanor crimes can participate at the discretion of the coach with the approval of the athletic director and the association’s comprehensive-action committee.

“As long as the felony is dismissed, my understanding is that UGA’s policy would allow him to return to normal team activity,” Stephens said.

Stephens was an All-SEC guard for the Bulldogs in the 1980s and has long represented Georgia football players on legal matters. He confirmed Friday that he is representing star defensive lineman Jalen Carter against the charges he received from Athens-Clarke County Police this week for drag racing and reckless driving.

Thomas, whose given name is Rodarius, was charged with false imprisonment, a felony, and domestic battery Jan. 23. The charges stemmed from a Jan. 22 incident in the McWhorter Hall dormitory in which UGA Police responded to calls of an argument being waged between Thomas and longtime his girlfriend. Witnesses alleged that Thomas would not allow the victim to leave his dorm room and that the two parties and become physical with each other.

A recently arrived transfer from Mississippi State, Thomas is a 6-foot-2, 202-pound wide receiver from Eufaula, Alabama. He was his team’s leading receiver as a sophomore at Mississippi State last season, with 44 catches for 626 yards and seven touchdowns.