East Coast Rapist suspect is again scheduled to enter guilty pleas

November 20, 2012

Aaron Thomas, the alleged East Coast Rapist, who has said he is responsible for at least a dozen rapes over the past two decades, is again scheduled to enter guilty pleas to rape and abduction charges in Prince William County, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Thomas, 41, had agreed earlier this month to plead guilty to charges stemming from a 2009 Halloween attack on three teenage trick-or-treaters, but he said at a Nov. 13 court hearing that he did not understand the proceedings. Circuit Court Judge Mary Grace O’Brien halted the hearing and scheduled the case for trial in January.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said Thomas has again agreed to enter guilty pleas to two charges of rape and three charges of abduction. Should Thomas enter the pleas, it would spare his victims from what would likely be a grueling trial, and the case would move to sentencing, at which Thomas faces the possibility of multiple life terms.

Thomas is scheduled to enter his pleas in Prince William County at 2 p.m. Nov. 30. Earlier that day, he is scheduled to plead guilty in Loudoun County to charges in a 2001 Leesburg rape.

In lengthy interviews with The Washington Post, Thomas said he raped women beginning in the early 1990s, when he was living in Prince George’s County. He said the rapes were the result of urges he felt he could not control, and he hid his crimes from everyone he knew. Police ultimately linked his DNA to 13 attack scenes in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

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