Loudoun grand jury indicts man in 'East Coast Rapist' case

Capital Land,Emily Babay

A Loudoun County grand jury has indicted the man authorities believe is the East Coast Rapist, responsible for attacks on 17 women since 1997.

Court records show the grand jury indicted 39-year-old Aaron H. Thomas on charges of rape, abduction with intent to defile, and forcible sodomy.

Those charges stem from a May 24, 2001, attack in Leesburg. Thomas is accused of threatening a 41-year-old woman in her apartment with a screwdriver, tying her up and raping her.

Thomas was apprehended in Connecticut earlier this month. The assaults linked to the East Coast Rapist began in Prince George's County in 1997, and the most recent was an attack on teenagers in Dale City on Halloween night 2009. Rapes and other assaults were reported in Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Thomas has also been formally charged in Prince William County.

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