Suspect in East Coast rapes held on $1.5M bail
(AP) - A man who lived a Jekyll-and-Hydelifestyle as he sexually assaulted women from Virginia to RhodeIsland over 12 years asked, "Why haven't you picked me upsooner?" when he was arrested last week, a prosecutor said Mondayin court. Aaron Thomas, 39, wore sunglasses and a baseball cap as heappeared in New Haven Superior Court in Connecticut on a charge ofraping a woman in 2007 in her New Haven home in front of her baby.He kept his head cast down throughout the hearing. Prosecutor David Strollo said the unemployed truck driverdescribed himself as having "a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"personality regarding women. Over the weekend, investigators searched a yellow Colonial withblue shutters where neighbors said he lived with his girlfriend and5-year-old son. Strollo said Thomas made incriminating statements about hisinvolvement in the rapes to a marshal. In addition to asking "Whyhaven't you picked me up sooner?" Thomas told investigators,"What took you so long to get me?" Strollo said. Authorities say DNA from a cigarette butt confirms Thomas is theso-called East Coast Rapist wanted for attacks in Connecticut,Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia. Thomas had lived previously inMaryland and Virginia, according to public records. Investigators say there are 12 attacks with 17 victims,including 14 sexual assaults, two abductions where victims eitherescaped or were not assaulted, and one peeping offense where DNAwas found. Authorities recently put up electronic billboards in the stateswhere the attacks occurred and neighboring states. Police andprosecutors at a news conference Monday in Manassas, Va., creditedThomas' arrest to a detailed, anonymous tip from Prince George'sCounty, Md., that was generated from the publicity campaigncombined with a relatively new, highly detailed police database. Authorities in Virginia's Prince William County, where the newsconference was held, are charging him with rape, abduction, being afugitive and using of a firearm while committing a felony. Thomas has not been charged in Maryland or Rhode Island.
East Coast Rapist arrested in New HavenEast Coast Rapist suspect arrested in Conn.