'East Coast Rapist' Arraigned in Prince George's Co. Court

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    AP
    This undated handout photo provided by the Prince William County, Va., Police Department shows Aaron Thomas. Thomas. accused of being the East Coast Rapist, allegedly responsible for 17 sexual assaults over a decade, will not be evaluated again for competency to stand trial. Defense attorneys for Aaron Thomas had sought a second report after they say Thomas began trying to injure himself and stopped speaking to them. But a judge in Manassas denied the request Friday, agreeing with prosecutors that there was no reason for a new evaluation. (AP Photo/Prince William County, Va. Police Department)

    The Connecticut man serving multiple life sentences for a series of sexual assaults was arraigned in Prince George's County Friday morning.

    Aaron Thomas appeared via closed circuit television in the courtroom. He is facing 54 counts of first-degree rape and other offenses for attacks that allegedly occurred in the county between 1997 and 2001.

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    Thomas -- the accused East Coast Rapist -- is suspected of carrying out a series of assaults from Rhode Island to Virginia, spanning more than a decade.

    He was sentenced in March to five life terms in Virginia for crimes including the abduction and rapes of teenage trick-or-treaters in 2009.

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    That same month, he was indicted in Prince George's County.

    Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said that Thomas must also be prosecuted for his alleged crimes in the county, despite his sentences in Virginia.

    "We have six victims who are looking for closure and the ability to put these horrible events behind them and move on with their lives," she said in a release.

    Thomas is scheduled for a status hearing Aug. 16.

    He will remain at the county detention center in Upper Marlboro for the duration of this case, authorities said.

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