‘East Coast Rapist’ indicted on rape charges in Prince George’s -- Gazette.Net


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Prince George’s County prosecutors are building their case against a Connecticut man police dubbed the “East Coast Rapist” who will be arraigned April 12 for allegedly raping six victims in the county.

Aaron Thomas, 41, of New Haven, Conn., is allegedly responsible for up to 20 sexual assaults over the span of a decade along the East Coast, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the county state’s attorney’s office. Thomas was indicted March 26 on six counts of first-degree rape and related charges for attacks that took place in Prince George’s.

The incidents, involving six victims in the county, occurred in 1997 and 2001, but Thomas was not arrested until last year after he had been suspected in a number of other rape cases.

A tip from the Prince George’s County Crime Solvers hotline led law enforcement officers to his residence in New Haven, Conn., where he was arrested March 4, 2012.

Thomas already pleaded guilty to abducting three teenage girls and raping two of them in Prince William County, Va., in a 2009 Halloween night abduction. In that case, he was sentenced to three life terms plus 80 years. On March 15, he was also sentenced to two life sentences in Loudon County, Va., for a 2001 attack at a Leesburg, Va., apartment complex.

Thomas allegedly also has committed sexual attacks in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“Regardless of the sentences he has in other jurisdictions, that doesn’t hold him accountable and punish him for the alleged rapes he committed here,” said Erzen, noting that the county will seek justice for the Prince George’s victims. “They want to see him held accountable for his crimes. ... And we want people to understand what he’s done and that we can police our own.”

Erzen said he does not yet know how Thomas is expected to plead in the Prince George’s case.

State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in a statement after Thomas was indicted that prosecuting Thomas in Prince George’s County will help send a message to would-be criminals.

“While we know that Mr. Thomas will spend the rest of his life in prison for his crimes, it is important that we prosecute him for the attacks he committed in our county, so these six victims can receive justice and closure for this terrible incident in their lives,” she said.

djgross@gazette.net