Alleged East Coast Rapist's Plea Deal Is Off | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Alleged East Coast Rapist's Plea Deal Is Off

Suspect tells judge he's 'not sure' about pleading guilty

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The man accused in series of rapes along East Coast has backed out of plea deal, telling a judge he wasn't sure he knew what he was doing, according to the Associated Press.

Aaron Thomas of New Haven, Conn. has been accused of a series of rapes and assaults of women along the East Coast. He was expected to plead guilty for the first time to one of those attacks in a Prince William County court today. But the deal was called off when Thomas revealed hesitation at his plea hearing this morning, the AP reports. 

Thomas' jury trial is now scheduled for Jan. 14.

This morning's hearing dealt with charges filed against Thomas from 2009. He was charged with abducting three teenage trick-or-treaters in 2009 and raping two of them. 

Those assaults were the last of 17 that authorities attributed to the East Coast Rapist, who was linked through DNA and other evidence to 17 assaults and rapes on women going as far back as 1997. 

Thomas was arrested in March 2011. His lawyers had been pursuing an insanity defense before dropping those plans and scheduling Tuesday's plea hearing.

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