Former janitor in Lawrence school district charged with sexual exploitation of a child, domestic battery

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center is pictured in March of 2022. The center houses the Douglas County District Court and other county services.

A former Lawrence school janitor has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child and domestic battery.

The man, Thomas Allen Gallagher, 61, is charged in Douglas County District Court with one felony count of sexually exploiting a child by possessing a photograph of the child in the nude and one misdemeanor count of domestic battery, according to charging documents. The charges are in connection with incidents in April and May of this year.

Gallagher worked for the Lawrence school district from November 2020 until he resigned on May 6, 2024, as a districtwide custodian, including at Free State High School, Prairie Park Elementary and Schwegler Elementary, among other locations, said Julie Boyle, spokesperson for the district, in an email to the Journal-World. He was most recently working as a preventative maintenance technician from June 2023 until May 2024. The district is not aware of any connection between Gallagher’s work for the district and the charges filed against him, Boyle said.

Gallagher was arrested on a warrant Sunday. His address in the jail booking log is listed as a residence in Gatesville, Texas; however, an affidavit in support of his arrest indicates that he was living in Lawrence at the time of the domestic incident.

The arrest affidavit for the domestic incident alleges that Gallagher, while drunk and high, grabbed a woman’s arm and pushed her against a wall, leaving a bruise. The woman also told police that Gallagher had repeatedly abused her for years, including choking her, hitting her in the head with a hammer and pushing her down stairs. The woman told police that she never reported the violence because she thought she was “doing the right thing” by not reporting it. Allegations in arrest affidavits have not been proved in court.

Gallagher is being held at the Douglas County Jail on a $25,000 cash or surety bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court on June 25 for a scheduling conference.


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