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'East Coast Rapist,' already serving five life sentences, indicted in Maryland

Reuters

Aaron Thomas, 41, known as the "East Coast Rapist."

The man referred to as the "East Coast Rapist" -- tied to a string of attacks along the Eastern Seaboard -- was indicted Tuesday in the county where he has said his reign of terror began.

Aaron Thomas, 41, was indicted by prosecutors in Prince George's County, Md., on six counts of first-degree rape and related charges, reported NBCWashington.com. He is accused of raping and kidnapping six women in the county between 1997 and 2001 and faces a total of 54 charges there, including first-degree sex-offense, kidnapping, theft, and false imprisonment, NBCWashington.com said.

Thomas is already behind bars in Virginia, serving five life sentences plus 80 years for a 2001 rape and abduction in Leesburg, Va., and a Halloween 2009 attack on three teenagers in Prince William County, Va.

"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 from this terrible incident in their lives," said Prince George's County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks in a statement on Tuesday.

Thomas is linked by DNA evidence to more than a dozen sexual assaults dating back to 1997 from the Washington area to Connecticut.


Thomas told The Washington Post that his first rape was in Prince George’s County, and described several assaults that predate the ones known to authorities by several years.

The earliest attack for which he has been charged is a February 1997 assault in Prince George's County, in which a woman was confronted by an assailant on a 10-speed bike, according to The Post

He wasn't captured until March 2011 after a massive manhunt following the 2009 Halloween attack.

In a tell-all interview with the Post on Nov. 10, 2012, from his Virginia jail cell, Thomas admitted he was the man known as the "East Coast Rapist," something he has also admitted to law enforcement. 

“I need help with this problem. It’s serious,” Thomas told The Post in 2012. “I don’t think I’m crazy, but something is wrong with me.”