East Coast Rapist

The East Coast Rapist is a black male who has committed a number of rapes in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut and Rhode Island since 1997. Police have had DNA evidence from the first attacks, but had not matched the DNA in any criminal database. On March 4, 2011, police in Connecticut arrested 39-year-old trucker and New Haven resident Aaron H. Thomas after claiming to have matched his DNA to that of the rapist from a cigarette butt he discarded. Thomas is undergoing police questioning.[1][2] On March 5, 2011, jailers reported that Thomas attempted to hang himself while in a jail cell.[3][4]

The rapist's modus operandi is to trail the women he selects as victims to learn about their personal lives and then attack them under cover of night. He usually approaches the victim in an open area, talks to them briefly, and then forces them into a more secluded area to rape them. He has used handguns, knives, a screwdriver, and a broken bottle as weapons during the attacks. On four occasions, he attacked more than one victim in the same incident.

On March 1, 2013, Thomas was sentenced to three life terms in prison plus an additional 80 years for his Halloween 2009 attack on three teenaged trick-or-treaters in Prince William County, Virginia.[5]


Date and Time Victim's Race and Age Location Weapon Notes
January 5, 1997; 5:00 am Black female; age 34 Forestville, MD Handgun No DNA evidence
February 19, 1997; 12:46 am Black female; age 25 Forestville, MD Handgun DNA obtained
March 6, 1997; 4:00 am Black female; age 27 Forestville, MD Handgun Two blocks from first attack; no DNA evidence
August 20, 1997; 12:45 am Black female; age 18 Suitland, MD Knife DNA obtained
July 3, 1998; 11:00 pm Black females; ages 16 and 18 Temple Hills, MD Broken bottle Only younger victim raped; DNA obtained
June 19, 1999; 11:17 pm Black female; age 19 Hybla Valley, VA Knife DNA obtained
January 13, 2000; 7:30 pm Black female; age 18 Hybla Valley, VA Knife DNA obtained
November 20, 2000; 6:00 pm White female; age 35 Alexandria, VA Knife Victim fought back and was not raped; DNA obtained
May 24, 2001; 7:45 pm White female; age 41 Leesburg, VA Screwdriver Victim was bound; DNA obtained
August 16, 2001; 10:00 pm Black females; ages 18 and 19 Temple Hills, MD Handgun Both victims raped; DNA obtained
December 28, 2001; 7:30 pm Black female; age 29 Hybla Valley, VA Knife Last rape for five years; DNA obtained
January 28, 2006; 2:21 am Black female; age 46 Fair Haven, CT None Feces left behind; no DNA evidence
February 20, 2006; 3:45 am Black female; age 17 Fair Haven, CT None Condom used; no DNA evidence
November 28, 2006; 5:22 pm White females; ages 11 and 39 Cranston, RI None Dog scared rapist away before rape; feces left behind; DNA obtained
January 10, 2007; 1:21 am Mixed-race female; age 27 Fair Haven, CT None DNA obtained
January 21, 2007; 6:10 am Black female; age 33 Fair Haven, CT None Victim fought back and was not raped; no DNA evidence
October 31, 2009; 9:11 pm Black females; ages 16, 17, and 17 Dale City, VA Handgun Youngest victim called police; rapist fled after attacking older victims; DNA obtained


  1. ^ "Tip yields arrest in East Coast Rapist case", Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
  2. ^ Baker, Al (March 5, 2011). "Suspect in East Coast Rapes Is Arrested". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Christoffersen, John. "'"Police: DNA confirms suspect 'East Coast Rapist. ajc.com. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  4. ^ By the CNN Wire Staff (March 6, 2011). East Coast Rapist' suspect tries to hang himself, police say"'". CNN.com. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  5. ^ White, Josh (March 2, 2013). "East Coast Rapist sentenced to life in prison for 2009 attack on teenaged trick-or-treaters". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 

External links

  • East Coast Rapist Police Site
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