Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office

                                 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


                                *Press Release*           Date: February 27, 2009                     






Woman placed on probation in custody dispute


Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan today announced that a 28-year-old South Brunswick woman was placed on probation for one year for interfering with the custody of her two children after taking them on an unauthorized trip to India.


Assha Thomas, a resident of the Kendall Park section of the township, was sentenced to the probationary term during a hearing this morning before Superior Court Judge Joseph Donahue in the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth.


The judge also ordered Thomas to surrender any documents that she would need to travel to India, thus preventing her from taking the children out of the U.S. without court permission. In addition, the judge credited her with the two days she was incarcerated following her arrest.


Thomas, the mother of a 4-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, pleaded guilty January 14, 2009, during a hearing before Judge Donahue. The case was transferred to Union County to avoid the appearance of a conflict, since Thomas worked as an information technology specialist at the Middlesex County Courthouse. In addition, her co-defendant, Ryan Ramdass, 34, was a Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer at the time they were arrested.


Ramdass, who had been charged with interference, hindering apprehension and giving a false statement to authorities, was admitted into a pre-trial probationary program on January 14, 2009.


Police began an investigation after Thomas’ ex-husband, who has joint custody of the children, told authorities she had taken the children to India on an unauthorized trip, in violation of a court order.


Thomas left for India on June 8, 2008, and was arrested and charged after she returned with the children on June 29, 2008.