Judge to determine competency of suspected East Coast rapist

Aaron Thomas is seen after his arrest. (AP)

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

MANASSAS, Va. – The mental competency of the man believed responsible for rapes and attacks on 17 women from Virginia to Connecticut over a decade will be determined by a Prince William County judge Thursday.

Aaron Thomas has been tested by a court-appointed mental health expert, at the request of his defense attorney.

“We’re expecting the doctor’s report, and we expect it will find that he’s competent to stand trial,” Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert tells WTOP,

Ebert declined to answer when asked if he’s been briefed on the report’s findings.

“I really don’t care to make any comment,” said Thomas’ attorney Ronald Fahy when contacted by WTOP.

Thomas is charged with the Halloween 2009 abduction at gunpoint of three teenage trick-or-treaters in Woodbridge. Two were raped, before Thomas fled.

Thomas was arrested in Connecticut, after DNA evidence from a discarded cigarette linked him to several rapes, including the Woodbridge crimes.

In his November arraignment, Thomas answered “no” when asked if he understood the charges against him.

His attorney has said in a motion that Thomas has engaged in self-destructive behavior and has refused to communicate with him.

Thomas’ preliminary hearing will be in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court because the victims are minors.

If probable cause is found, Thomas’s case will be referred to a Prince William County Circuit Court grand jury.

If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum of life in prison.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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