Convicted rapist admits to cold-case murder, sex attacks

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

A 57-year-old convicted rapist has pleaded guilty to killing a young NASA intern and the rapes of two University of Maryland students during the early 1990s.

Thomas Lee Posey, a longtime Maryland prisoner, has pleaded to first-degree murder in the June 1990 rape and strangulation of 22-year-old Margaret Perkins, an intern at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. Posey last week also admitted to raping two different college students in May and September of that same year.

"What we are talking about here is a predator that went after young women who had their whole lives ahead of them," said Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. "We hope that the surviving family and friends have found some level of closure and peace."

Posey was linked to all three crimes through DNA evidence, and his plea deal means that will spend the rest of his life in prison, Alsobrooks said.

Perkins, a Rice University student who had moved to the D.C.-area for her internship just weeks before she was killed, was abducted while on an evening jog through Indian Head Creek Park near College Park. Her naked body was found partially submerged in a stream by softball players who went into the woods to retrieve a lost ball.

In the rapes of the University of Maryland students, Posey used a broken bottle to attack the women, before raping and robbing them. Both were 20-year-old college students with similar hair color and build.

He was linked to all three crimes in 2011 after his DNA was submitted to a national criminal database.

Posey has spent the last 20 years in Maryland prisons after pleading guilty in 1992 to the abduction and rape of another women. In that case, he accosted a woman at an ATM machine with a sawed-off shotgun, raped her and then locked her in the trunk of her own car.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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