The man known as the "Georgetown Cuddler" will get a new trial, after the D.C. Court of Appeals overturned his conviction Thursday.
Todd M. Thomas, 26, of Arlington, was accused of sexually assaulting five male Georgetown University students in 2010.
The court ruled Thomas should receive a new trial because the D.C. Superior Court judge who oversaw the initial trial erred when he allowed Thomas’s prior conviction to be presented to the jury.
Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said prosecutors were reviewing the court's decision, but he declined further comment.
A jury convicted Thomas of 11 counts of burglary and sexual and simple assult, and he was later sentenced to 26 years in prision. Prosecutors charged Thomas with breaking into the homes of Georgetown students and fondling or sexually assulting them between 2007 and 2008. The incidents occured in the 1200 and 1300 blocks of 33rd and 35th Streets NW.
One student testified that he awoke to find Thomas massaging his ankles, and another student testified that he awoke to Thomas rubbing his sholders. One of the attacks occured after Thomas burglarized his victim's apartment, prosecutors said.
The appeals court reached a unanimous ruling that Judge Gregory E. Jackson erroneously allowed prosecutors to introduce evidence that Thomas had pled guilty to an aggravated sexual battery in 2008 involving an Arlington victim.
“The trial judge abused discretion in permitting that evidence to be presented,” Senior Appeals Court Judge Warren R. King wrote.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the decision and has no further comment at this time.