So-called “East Coast Rapist” Aaron Thomas was arraigned for six counts of first-degree rape and numerous related charges in a Prince George’s County courtroom July 12.
Thomas had already been sentenced to serve five life sentences without parole for rape convictions in Virginia, including three life sentences plus 80 years for a 2009 incident in which Thomas raped two girls on Halloween night in Prince William County, Va.
However, following that trial, Prince George’s County, Md. State’s Attorney Angela Brooks felt that victims in her jurisdiction also deserved justice. Thomas will already spend the rest of his life behind bars, but Brooks believes he should face trial in Maryland as well.
Thomas’ 17 victims included women in Virginia, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and six in Prince George’s County. In his attacks, Thomas used various items such as handguns, knifes, broken bottles and screwdrivers.
According to prosecutors, Thomas committed his first Maryland attack in Forestville, Md. on Jan. 5, 1997. He was eventually arrested in March 2011 after police in Connecticut arrested Thomas by matching his DNA to that of a cigarette butt he discarded.
According to county corrections spokesman Yolanda Evans, Thomas was transferred to the Prince George’s jail from Virginia on July 2 and will remain in Maryland until the case concludes.