Expert Witnesses Testify in Jury Trial of Softball Coach Accused of Molesting Players


By Anika Khubchandani

WOODLAND – Deputy District Attorney Rachel Raymond called two expert witnesses to the stand in the “Buck” Maldonado Thomas sexual abuse case—after days of victim and family testimony, both witnesses Tuesday are investigators who currently work in the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.

The lengthy trial, in Yolo County Superior Court, is focused on illegal sexual acts allegedly performed by Thomas—several female witnesses have testified as victims to sexual assault by their former softball coach when they were minors.

After DDA Raymond’s first witness had little to say about the investigation, the prosecutor called John Sadlowski, a high-tech crimes investigator who has been with the DA’s offcie for nearly six years. Sadlowski said he found evidence about Thomas that linked him to porn.

Sadlowski said he conducted a forensic search of Thomas’ MacBook Air by using “scientific methods that have been tested and validated to make sure that we do not corrupt the data on the computer in any way.” Sadlowski confirmed the computer “is completely not changed whatsoever.”

The technique he used to search the laptop was by attaching a thumb drive to the computer and then using a tool from MacQuisitons, a forensic imaging software for Macintosh computers.

During the search, he said he “found a Facebook profile for hitting guy” about Thomas and also the user Thomas’ wife, associated with the computer.

Sadlowski also examined Thomas’ internet search history and “found a lot of searches related to massage room porn which were associated with well-known pornography websites.” Some of the links for the videos included “massage rooms and massage salons” and “legal pornography related to the teenage years.”

Victims have charged that Thomas molested them during massages and workouts.

In addition, Sadlowski searched for two of the victims’ names and found contracts and email attachments in connection with the victims receiving hitting lessons from Thomas.

In the cross-examination, Sadlowski admitted that Thomas was not the only person with access to the MacBook Air, causing Deputy Public Defender Emily Fisher to stress that the defendant was neither the sole owner nor only user of the laptop.

Then, Fisher asked if “the porn material was small compared to the baseball data and baseball searches on Thomas’ laptop.” Sadlowski acknowledged that the pornography searches were limited compared to the baseball content.

The jury trial continues all week.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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