Jun 10, 2016

DA files amended charges against Lusk in 2016 case; he is held to answer on all charges which include torture, assault, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and human trafficking

A preliminary hearing was held on June 9 with amended charges filed against Thomas Lusk. Judge Marilyn Miles held Lusk to answer on all charges; his arraignment on information for jury trial is on June 23, 2016 at 2 p.m.

There are 11 counts in the new amended information.

Count 1 Forcible Rape with three special allegations: 667.61 (a) ; 667.61 (d) (3) and 667. (e) (6)/

Count 2, 3 and 4 Forcible oral copulation with four special allegations: PC 12022.7 (a) and 1192.7 (c) (8); 667.61 (a); 667.61 (d) (3) and 667. (e) (6)

Count 5 Human Trafficking with one special allegation: 236.4 (b)

Count 6 Sexual penetration by a foreign object

Count 7, 8 and 9 Forcible oral copulation

Count 10 Torture

Count 11 Assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury with special allegations PC 12022.7 (a) and 1192.7 (c) (8)



Jane Doe testified and she was able to identify Lusk. Judge Marilyn Miles

Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads prosecuted the case. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis has been appointed to represent Lusk.

May 24, 2016


"She did not want to get hurt. She would give him a BJ and a backrub."



After an hour and half preliminary hearing this morning, Judge Joyce Hinrichs dismissed the 2016 case against Thomas Lusk II.

Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads submitted the matter to the court after presenting one witness, former HCSO Deputy Bang Cao. At the time of this alleged incident, he was assigned to the Southern Humboldt. Deputy Cao is currently employed with the Marin County Sheriff's office.

Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis told Judge Hinrichs that "my client has not been IDed in court today. He also said no evidence had been provided regarding Count 1 and asked that the case be dismissed."

 Judge Hinrichs acknowledged that the ID of Lusk was "problematic. The court finds all elements have not been proven by evidence." Lusk was not held to answer to Counts 1 and 2 and the "complaint was dismissed."

 He waived his preliminary hearing for the 2015 case and remains in custody on that case, awaiting jury trial.

On May 11, Lusk, who has been in jail for 314 days, was arraigned for a new case, involving a new victim that came forward.

In this new case, Lusk is charged with two felonies. Count 1 Human trafficking. Count 2 Assault with intent to commit a sex offense. Both counts have special allegations that Lusk has a prior conviction for criminal threats.

On September 19, 2014, Deputy Cao was "dispatched to investigate a possible rape in Miranda."

"When I arrived, a red jeep was parked at the intersection of French Road and Miranda off-ramp. The passenger was Jane Doe and the driver was the reporting party, Ernie Bull."

Asked to describe Jane Doe's demeanor, Deputy Cao said, "she was crying and breathing heavily; she appeared to be in distress. I remember she was trying to put on a pink top while sitting in the vehicle. I believe she was wearing a bra and jeans."

"I asked Jane Doe to step out of the car and walk to my patrol vehicle." By this time he said, Deputy Filipini had arrived to assist him "and she walked Jane Doe to my car."

Deputy Cao spoke to Bull. Bull told Deputy Cao that "he was driving on 101 and near the intersection of Miranda off-ramp and French Road, he observed a female waving him down with a flashlight. Jane Doe got into the vehicle and asked him to call 911." Bull told Deputy Cao that "the female was wearing a bikini bra and appeared to be in distress." Jane Doe told Bull what had happened.

DDA Eads: Did Jane Doe say anything to Mr. Bull while she was in a state of distress."

Deputy Cao: "yes."

DDA Eads: "What did Jane Doe say to Mr. Bull?"

Deputy Cao: "Jane Doe told Ernie Bull a guy was trying to rape her and to call 911. This was told to me by dispatch."

Ms. Eads asked Deputy Cao if he had an opportunity to speak with Jane Doe. He said he did,

"She verbally told me her identity and provided her date of birth. She explained to me that received a text from TJ to come to his house and collect the $200 he owed her."

Jane Doe told Deputy Cao she had met "TJ about a month before" this alleged incident and that "she knew the person as TJ."

Jane oe drove to Lusk's house. "She went into the house and asked him for the money. He avoided the subject about the money" and said the real reason she was there "was to rent a room from him. This caused Jane Doe concern. At this point, she knew TJ was not going to pay her and tried to leave."

"Jane Doe tried to open the door but she could not because there were three locks on the door and no door knob. She explained that TJ tried to punch her in the face while she was trying to unlock the door but she was able to avoid the punch. She pulled out a big knife. She explained TJ grabbed a hammer. TJ brandished the hammer and took the knife away from her. "

"She said that TJ told her that she could not leave and that she needed to have sex with him. Jane Doe grabbed her cellphone and tried to call her boyfriend, (I am not printing the name because it may reveal Jane Doe's identity). TJ took the phone away from her."

DDA Eads: "Did she tell you why she was in fear of her life?"

Deputy Cao: "TJ would kill her."

DDA Eads: "Did Jane Doe tell you that she told TJ something?"

Deputy Cao: "She did not want to get hurt. She would give him a BJ and a backrub. I believe she was offering so she would not get hurt. I don't believe she performed those acts."

DDA Eads: "Did Jane Doe tell you what else she said to TJ?"

Deputy Cao: "Jane Doe told TJ she had drugs in her vehicle and she would give them to him TJ told Jane Doe to take off all her clothes before she went out to the car to get the drugs. She only took off her shirt but not anything else."

"Jane Doe grabbed her purse and went outside to her vehicle with TJ. As she was walking to her vehicle, Jane Doe dropped her purse in the driver door and started looking for her keys to her vehicle and she could not find her keys. TJ went to the passenger side and opened the door while she was continuing to look for her keys. TJ demanded that Jane Doe show him the drugs she had offered him. TJ demanded that she come over to the passenger side to show him where the drugs where."

"As she was walking over, she turned on a flashlight and shined it in the direction of the driveway and took off running down the hill."

"Jane Doe said that she spent approximately an hour at TJ's house". Deputy Cao asked her to describe TJ. "She told me that TJ is about 35-40 years old; tall; Indian male adult, weighed about 300 pounds."

DDA Eads: "Did you ask her if she had any alcohol or had done drugs?"

Deputy Cao: "She told me no but because of the way she was acting, I asked a CHP officer to conduct an evaluation. He told me that she was not on drugs or under the influence of alcohol."

Deputy CAO said he asked the CHP office to evaluate Jane Doe because "she was stressed, crying and her speech was fast."

"From what Jane Doe told me and the location she described, I was in Sohum for a while, so I knew it was Thomas Lusk's house/trailer. I asked her to get in the back of the vehicle." Deputy Filipini, the CHP officer and Deputy Cao drove to where Jane Doe described the location was and she had said her car, a Mazda Miata was in the driveway.  From a former call, Deputy Cao recognized it as Thomas Lusk's house.

When they got there, Deputy Cao investigated and looked at the car. "The driver door was open. There was a purse and items strewn about. Several caps and syringes."

"Deputy Filipini and I went to the house and knocked and announced ourselves. It was dark. The front door did not have a door knob. Two deadbolts in the door.  No one answered."

Deputy Cao photographed the exterior of the house and the car. He then spoke to Jane Doe who said "she wanted to press charges against TJ."

"I told her I would come by with a photo lineup later and assigned her a case number for the incident. Jane Doe got into her car and drove away."

Deputy Cao went and spoke to Lusk's neighbor, (name not printed for privacy reasons). Deputy Cao returned to the Garberville station and looked up Thomas Lusk. "The driver's license descriptor said he was 6 feet 4 inches, 260 pounds, and had his date of birth."

Deputy Cao said he was familiar with the Lusk property from a previous visit with Sgt. Swithenbank and had gone there to look for Thomas Lusk, Sr.  Deputy Cao described two trailers on the property, the house and "a lot of garbage" and items all over the property.

He requested help from the Arcata Police Department to prepare photo lineups and went to pick them up the next day, September 20, 2014. He asked them for two lineups because he was not sure if Jane Doe was describing Lusk Sr. or Lusk Jr.

He could not get in touch with Jane Doe until September 21 and he met her at the Lone Pine motel in Garberville and asked her to speak with him in his patrol car "in private."

He gave her a photo admonishment form, explained it, she read it and signed it. He never mentioned the name Thomas Lusk to Jane Doe. First, he showed her the line up with Lusk, Sr. She did not identify anyone in that line up. Then he showed her the second photo line up with Lusk jr.

"She was immediately able to point him out and said, 'a 100% picture #3. I will never forget his eyes. She circled Lusk's picture and initialed it."

Deputy Cao said that Jane Doe was "calm, very coherent, not the same as the first time I met her. She was very polite."

In court today, when DDA Eads asked Deputy Cao to see if the person identified in the line up was in court, he said it had been a long time and he could not say for sure.

May 19, 2016

Court grants DA motion to dismiss and refile charges against Thomas Lusk now with two victims and two cases including false imprisonment, torture, rape human trafficking and sexual assault

The District Attorney had a motion to amend the information for the 2015 case against Thomas Lusk and they were looking to amends Counts 2,3 and 4. Count 2 Rape by Force, Count 3 Penetration by a Foreign Object, Count 4 Oral copulation with Force/Violence/Duress

This afternoon, the People said they were withdrawing their motion to amend counts in the 2015 case. Instead, they submitted a motion to dismiss the 2015 case and refile the charges and consolidate "with another."

The defense had objected to the DA's motion to amend information in the 2015 case as well as  their motion to dismiss and refile.

Both the prosecution and the defense presented their arguments to Visiting Judge Douglas Mewhinney this afternoon. After hearing both arguments. Visiting Judge Mewhinney said "the Court grants the motion to dismiss over defense objections. The defendant is discharged in this matter."

Since Lusk has been arraigned on the 2016 case, both the People and the defense confirmed the Preliminary hearing for the 2016 case on May 24. Time estimate is two hours.

May 17, 2016


Thomas Lusk charged with torture, rape by force , false imprisonment of female victim who met him at a bus stop gets new charges of human trafficking and sexual assault

The jury trial for Thomas Lusk that was scheduled for May 16, 2015 has been vacated. On May 11, Lusk, who has been in jail for 314 days, was arraigned for a new case, involving a new victim that came forward.

In this new case, Lusk is charged with two felonies. Count 1 Human trafficking. Count 2 Assault with intent to commit a sex offense. Both counts have special allegations that Lusk has a prior conviction for criminal threats.

On 5/19, there is an intervention scheduled for the recent 2016 case and a disposition and reset as well as a motion to amend information in the 2015 case. The jury trial for the 2015 case scheduled for May 16 was vacated. A preliminary hearing for the 2016 case is scheduled for May 24.

May 3, 2016


Trial maybe continued for Miranda man charged with torture, rape by force , false imprisonment of female victim who met him at a bus stop because another alleged victim has come forward

Trial confirmation was scheduled for Thomas Lusk this afternoon. Jury trial is scheduled for May 16. He waived his preliminary hearing on March 8.

Some decision will be hopefully made this Friday at 11 a.m., a special set by Judge Joyce Hinrichs.

Both prosecution and defense attorneys had colleagues substituting for them. Lusk refused to waive time without talking to his attorney.

DA informed defense there was another alleged victim; defense wanted a continuance; DOJ even with a request for expediting won't have DNA results for at least another eight weeks.

Jan 30, 2016


Preliminary hearing continued for Thomas Lusk, Miranda man charged with torture, rape by force , false imprisonment of female victim who met him at a bus stop

Both the intervention hearing and Preliminary hearing for Thomas Lusk were continued and new dates have been scheduled. Intervention is February 25 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing March 8 at 8:30 a.m.


Nov 19, 2015


Preliminary hearing finally set for Thomas Lusk charged with 6 felonies including torture, rape, false imprisonment, oral copulation and has prior conviction of terroristic threats

A preliminary hearing was finally set for Thomas Lusk, who had yet another disposition and rest hearing scheduled for today.

Lusk is charged with six felonies. Count 1 Torture; Count 2 Rape by Force, Count 3 Penetration by a Foreign Object, Count 4 Oral copulation with Force/Violence/Duress, Count 5 Assault likely to produce great bodily injury; Count 6 False Imprisonment and a special allegation of a prior felony conviction, which was of making terroristic threats.

Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis was present in court today with Lusk. Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis is prosecuting the case.

Jul 23, 2015


Preliminary hearing for Thomas Lusk, the Miranda man accused of sexual assault continued

A disposition and reset hearing set for August 13 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2. Lusk waived time. DDA Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Marek Reavis is representing Lusk.

Lack of courtrooms is reason for the change.

Lusk's bail was  set at $650,000. 

Jul 9, 2015


Man who was arrested for mistreating a dog in 2011 now charged with alleged sexual assault




HCSO Press Release:

On Monday, 07/06/2015, at about 8:15 PM, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was dispatched to CA Highway 254 just north of Phillipsville to contact a California Highway Patrol Officer who was standing by with the victim of an alleged sexual assault.

The 31 year old female victim reported that she met Thomas Leonard Lusk Jr., age 34 years, about three days ago near Miranda, CA. She was waiting for the bus to continue her travels. Lusk told her the bus wouldn’t be arriving for several hours and he suggested she wait at his residence. The victim thought this was a good idea and she went with Lusk to his residence in Miranda.

Lusk and the victim were at his residence for several hours conversing. When the victim questioned Lusk about the bus, he became angry and started beating her with his fists and threatened to kill her. Lusk kept the victim captive, by force and fear, in his residence for the next three days where he sexually assaulted her repeatedly. On the third day Lusk left the victim alone and she was able to escape through a bedroom window. She ran to the highway where she encountered a subject in a parked car making a phone call. She jumped in the car, told the subject she had been sexually assaulted, and requested a ride to the hospital. The driver started toward the hospital and encountered the CHP officer who notified the Sheriff’s Office of the assault.

On Wednesday, 07/08/2015, Lusk was arrested at his residence where a search warrant was served. Lusk was arrested and charged with rape through force and violence, sexual battery, oral copulation through force or fear, sexual penetration through force or fear, criminal threats, and false imprisonment.

From Times-Standard article in June 2011:

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office arrested a Miranda man Wednesday night for allegedly firing shots at another man after the man confronted him about mistreating a dog.
Deputies arrested Thomas Leonard Lusk, 29, and booked him into the Humboldt County jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, robbery and vandalism. His bail is set at $100,000.

Deputies received a call around 8 p.m. from a 23-year-old Eureka man who said he was shot at by an unknown person on the side of U.S. Highway 101 near the Miranda Bridge. Deputies and the California Highway Patrol responded.

According to a press release, the man had been parked in the turnout working on his broken-down vehicle when he saw Lusk mistreating a dog. The man said he "verbally confronted" Lusk about the mistreatment, reportedly angering Lusk, who threatened to shoot the victim before riding off on his bicycle.

About five minutes later, Lusk returned on his bicycle carrying what appeared to be a rifle. Lusk reportedly started shooting at the Eureka man, who fled into the bushes and called 911. Law enforcement officers reportedly arrived after Lusk allegedly entered the man's car and began removing items before fleeing into nearby bushes.

The officers ordered Lusk out of the bushes, and he complied.

After deputies informed Lusk he was under arrest, he reportedly began kicking the inside of the patrol car, damaging it. He was transferred to another deputy's patrol car and reportedly damaged the interior of the second 

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