LA photographer charged with sexually assaulting 3 teenage models

William Isaac Thomas Jr. via LAPD

A photographer, who represented himself as a modeling industry expert, was charged with sexually assaulting three teenagers who were pursuing modeling careers in Los Angeles, the DA's office announced.

William Isaac Thomas Jr., 49, was charged with three counts of oral copulation; two counts of sodomy by use of force; and one count of attempted sodomy of an unconscious or asleep victim.

It is also alleged that the victims were vulnerable, and the manner in which he carried out the attacks indicated planning, sophistication, and professionalism, the LA County DA's Office said in a statement.

Thomas is being held on $1,525,000 bail. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.

The alleged sexual assaults against young men occurred between 2017 and 2023.

According to the DA's office, Thomas sexually assaulted the first victim, aged 18 at the time, as they were pursuing a modeling career. In 2020, Thomas allegedly established a working relationship with a second victim, aged 19-20 at the time, who was also pursuing a modeling career. Thomas allegedly sexually assaulted the second victim until 2023. In 2022, he allegedly began working with a third victim, aged 19 at the time, and proceeded to sexually assault him until 2023, the DA's office stated.

"Thomas portrayed himself as a modeling agent and photographer and used his alleged status in the modeling world to attract victims. He claimed he could build their modeling careers forced them to submit to sexual assault under duress. Thomas threatened to ruin victims’ careers if they objected to his advances," the Los Angeles Police Department stated. 

Each victim was being represented by Thomas as they pursued their modeling careers, officials said.

Detectives identified six men that Thomas assaulted and believe there may be additional victims.

"The alleged actions of Mr. William Thomas Jr. are reprehensible. Exploiting a position of authority to prey on vulnerable teenagers is an egregious abuse of power that our society cannot and will not tolerate. We are committed to holding the offender accountable for their actions and ensuring that justice is served," District Attorney Geroge Gascón said.