'East Coast Rapist' Pleads Guilty to Northern Virginia Attack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Prince William County Police
    Aaron Thomas

    The man called the "East Coast rapist" pleaded guilty to rape and abduction in Loudoun County court today.

    Aaron Thomas was charged with a rape in 2001 at a Leesburg apartment complex. His hearing had been moved up to today from Friday.

    Aaron Thomas had been expected to enter a guilty plea in Prince William County Nov. 13 for a 2009 attack on three teenage trick-or-treaters in Prince William County. However, Thomas paused in court when asked to enter his plea and caused a delay in the case; that hearing is now back on the schedule for Friday.

    PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 'East Coast rapist' delays trial

    Thomas faces multiple life sentences in both the Loudoun County and Prince William County attacks.

    Thomas' behavior and mental status has been an issue in court, if not an issue raised formally in the trial.

    Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert had called Thomas' behavior "erratic from the start." In custody, Thomas has repeatedly cut his wrists and smeared his blood on the walls of his cell, News4's Julie Carey reported earlier this month.

    He has claimed he had an alternate personality -- Erwin.

    However, the prosecution's mental health expert had found Thomas was either "feigning or greatly exaggerating" symptoms. His attorneys had notified the court that sanity would not be raised as an issue.

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    Thomas has been tied to 17 attacks over longer than a decade from the D.C. area up to Connecticut.

    In a story published in the Washington Post, Thomas had acknowledged that he was the East Coast Rapist, saying, "I don't think I'm crazy but something is wrong with me."

    Thomas pleaded guilty to forcing the trick-or-treaters into the woods and raping two of them on Halloween night. Two of the victims are now in college.

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    Stay with NBCWashington.com and NBC4 for more.