DNA confirms suspect, 39-year-old Aaron Thomas, is the 'East Coast Rapist' UPDATE: Aaron Thomas, Sentenced To 3 Life Terms In Prison

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Normal DNA confirms suspect, 39-year-old Aaron Thomas, is the 'East Coast Rapist' UPDATE: Aaron Thomas, Sentenced To 3 Life Terms In Prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:53 am

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FILE - This composite of artists' sketches provided by the Fairfax, Va., County Police Department shows the likeness of a suspect wanted for 12 sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults between 1997 and 2009 in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The sketches were made in 1998, left, in 1999, center, and in 2000, right. Federal and local authorities said Friday March 4, 2011 they have arrested a suspect in the so-called East Coast Rapist case. Members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force arrested Aaron Thomas, 39, 'without incident' at his home in New Haven, police spokesman Joseph Avery said.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – DNA confirmed that a man arrested Friday in Connecticut is the East Coast Rapist suspected of terrorizing women with sexual assaults from Virginia to Rhode Island over 12 years, police said Saturday.

Lt. Julie Johnson said DNA was collected and subsequently matched by the state police forensic lab confirming 39-year-old Aaron Thomas was the East Coast Rapist.

New Haven police have a warrant charging Thomas with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor and he was being held on $1 million bond, Johnson said. Authorities in Prince William County, Virginia, are charging him with being a fugitive as well as rape and abduction charges and use of a firearm while committing a felony.

The East Coast Rapist is wanted for 17 rapes and other attacks in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia that began in 1997. The cases were linked by DNA.

Authorities recently put up electronic billboards in the states where the attacks occurred and neighboring states. U.S. Marshal Joe Faughnan said a tip from Prince William County, Virginia, directed them to Thomas.

"Although the information and investigation of Thomas developed quickly over the last week or so, we should point out that investigators worked tirelessly for years pursuing this case," Johnson said. "This was truly a joint collaboration on all levels. We are proud of our investigation and hope the arrest of Aaron Thomas brings some closure to our victims and our communities."

Thomas could not be reached for comment; it was not known if he had legal representation. Thomas is scheduled to appear Monday in New Haven Superior Court.

Johnson did not take questions during the brief news conference.

A neighbor said Thomas was dating a woman in a yellow colonial house in one of New Haven's finest neighborhoods. The woman, who refused to give her name, said Saturday that Thomas is a truck driver and parked his tractor trailer in the residential neighborhood, but he seemed to be unemployed and would offer to paint or rake leaves for neighbors.

Thomas was known to ride his bicycle around the neighborhood, the neighbor said. She said there were children at his girlfriend's house.

Police would not allow a reporter to knock on the door.

At a two-family house listed as Thomas' address, a police officer in uniform answered the door Friday night and said nobody wanted to make a statement. The house, in a densely populated New Haven neighborhood, has a large porch and a white picket fence with a sign warning the premises are protected by a security company.

A neighbor, 39-year-old Tom Chambers, said he often saw Thomas coming and going but he did not know him well.

"He was just normal," Chambers said.

Thomas was not entirely unknown to law enforcement: He had been arrested in September in Woodbridge, Conn., on a larceny charge and was released on $1,000 bond, according to public records.

He had lived previously at addresses in Maryland and Virginia, according to public records.

The assailant eluded police even though the crimes were often committed outdoors, law enforcement officials say.

In some instances, the attacker wore a mask or hooded sweat shirt to conceal his face. He typically approached women outdoors on foot and threatened them with a knife, screwdriver or a handgun, investigators say.

The only attack in New Haven came on Jan. 10, 2007. Police said the suspect entered a 27-year-old woman's bedroom through an open window and threatened to kill her sleeping infant son before assaulting her.

The last known attack occurred on Halloween night in 2009, when two teenagers on their way home from trick-or-treating in Woodbridge, Va., were raped, authorities say.

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OMG, could this possibly be the suspect that murdered Morgan Harrington??

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Normal Re: DNA confirms suspect, 39-year-old Aaron Thomas, is the 'East Coast Rapist' UPDATE: Aaron Thomas, Sentenced To 3 Life Terms In Prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:57 am



(CNN) -- Days after launching a manhunt along highways and online for the so-called East Coast Rapist, Connecticut police on Friday took into custody a man they claim is behind sexual assaults on at least 17 women in four states.

The U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force arrested Aaron Thomas, 39, without incident at his home in New Haven, according to a press release from that city's police department. There was no indication that he had been charged, though the statement did say he "has been identified as the East Coast Rapist."

Early this week, six local law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the Department of Justice launched a joint website -- using the domain EastCoastRapist.com -- to solicit information from the public about a man they called a "brazen, cold-blooded rapist."

The website alleges that DNA evidence links a man to four attacks in Prince George's County, Maryland (between 1997 and 2001); Fairfax County, Virginia (between 1999 and 2001); Leesburg, Virginia (in 2001); Cranston, Rhode Island (in 2006); New Haven (in 2007); and Prince William County, Virginia (in 2009). It has police sketches of the suspect, from the various locales.

First Sgt. Kim Chinn, a spokeswoman for the Prince William County Police Department, told CNN affiliate WJLA that collective work of a recently formed multi-agency task force and "an anonymous tip in the past few days" helped spur the investigation this week.

"As soon as he was identified, things did happen quickly," said Chinn. "We are all breathing a sigh of relief."

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Normal Aaron Thomas, East Coast Rapist, Sentenced To 3 Life Terms In Prison

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue May 21, 2013 12:06 am

Aaron Thomas, the man dubbed the "East Coast Rapist" who pleaded guilty to abducting three teenagers and raping two of them on Halloween night in 2009, has been sentenced to three life terms in prison.



A Prince William County judge showed no mercy Friday to the man who was responsible for as many as 17 attacks across Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Thomas, 41, pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to the 2009 Dale CIty assaults on a 16 and 17-year-old girl. His arrest and plea ended a years-long manhunt, and during his sentencing, two of his victims testified that they forgave him.

One of Thomas' victims looked directly at him while testifying, saying that despite her forgiveness, he did not ever deserve to get out of prison.

A psychologist called to testify during the hearing said that Thomas was a "sexual deviant" who endured a long history of physical abuse from his father.

During his plea, he also admitted to raping a Leesburg woman in 2001 in a case that was linked to the 2009 rapes using DNA evidence.

His Nov. 29 plea was actually the second one he entered in 2012. About two weeks earlier, Thomas withdrew a guilty plea, saying that he knew the difference between right and wrong but didn't know what to do in that situation.

In a subsequent interview with the Washington Post, Thomas said that he didn't know why he couldn't stop raping women and that he viewed them as "objects."



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Normal Re: DNA confirms suspect, 39-year-old Aaron Thomas, is the 'East Coast Rapist' UPDATE: Aaron Thomas, Sentenced To 3 Life Terms In Prison

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 21, 2013 12:08 am

Thank you so much for updating this horrific case! Wow! 3 terms!

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