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Man identified as ‘East Coast Rapist’ held

Associated Press / March 5, 2011

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Authorities have identified a man they arrested in Connecticut on suspicion of being responsible for rapes and other attacks on 17 women since 1997 and dubbed the East Coast Rapist. Police spokesman Joe Avery said Aaron Thomas, 39, of New Haven, was arrested yesterday afternoon at his home by the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. Avery said Thomas “has been identified as the East Coast Rapist.’’ US Marshal Joe Faughnan said a lead from authorities in Virginia led them to Thomas. Authorities recently posted sketches of the suspect on electronic billboards in states where attacks occurred, including Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, and Rhode Island.