CRIME

Aaron Thomas to plead guilty in East Coast Rapist case

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LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - A Connecticut man is scheduled to enter a guilty plea in a 2001 rape in northern Virginia that police linked to an attacker dubbed the East Coast Rapist.

Aaron Thomas.

Loudoun County prosecutor Jim Plowman said Wednesday that Aaron Thomas of New Haven, Conn., is scheduled for a plea hearing later this month. He is charged there with the rape and forcible sodomy of a 41-year-old woman.

Thomas could spend up to life in prison a rape conviction.

He was arrested in Connecticut in March 2011 after a multi-state law enforcement effort to catch a man believed responsible for rapes and other attacks on 17 women since 1997 in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

After being brought to Virginia to face trial, his defense lawyers raised questions about his competency.

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