CRIME

Aaron Thomas, East Coast Rapist, sentenced to three life terms in prison

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Aaron Thomas, the man dubbed the "East Coast Rapist" who pleaded guilty to abducting three teenagers and raping two of them on Halloween night in 2009, has been sentenced to three life terms in prison.

Aaron Thomas pleaded guilty in November. Photo: Prince William County Police

A Prince William County judge showed no mercy Friday to the man who was responsible for as many as 17 attacks across Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Thomas, 41, pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to the 2009 Dale CIty assaults on a 16 and 17-year-old girl. His arrest and plea ended a years-long manhunt, and during his sentencing, two of his victims testified that they forgave him.

One of Thomas' victims looked directly at him while testifying, saying that despite her forgiveness, he did not ever deserve to get out of prison.

A psychologist called to testify during the hearing said that Thomas was a "sexual deviant" who endured a long history of physical abuse from his father.

During his plea, he also admitted to raping a Leesburg woman in 2001 in a case that was linked to the 2009 rapes using DNA evidence.

His Nov. 29 plea was actually the second one he entered in 2012. About two weeks earlier, Thomas withdrew a guilty plea, saying that he knew the difference between right and wrong but didn't know what to do in that situation.

In a subsequent interview with the Washington Post, Thomas said that he didn't know why he couldn't stop raping women and that he viewed them as "objects."

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