Former Commerce School Teacher No Show for Rape Charge

Thomas Fenderson (photo courtesy Commerce Public Schools website)

A former Commerce Public Schools teacher, charged with three counts of second-degree rape, did not show up for court this morning.

According to Commerce Police, 43-year-old Thomas Fenderson was supposed to appear in court for arraignment, but failed to show up. Commerce Police attempted to locate Fenderson at his home in Miami, but he was not there.

Police and Ottawa County Sheriff's Department are now searching for Fenderson.

According to online court documents, Fenderson is charged with three counts of second-degree rape.

Commerce Public Schools representative says Fenderson resigned from his post on May 15. The board accepted his resignation on May 18. Fenderson has been with the school district for the past seven years.

Fenderson was a science teacher and also coached sports at Commerce High School.