MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — A preliminary hearing for the man accused by prosecutors as the East Coast Rapist has been postponed after his lawyer requested a court-ordered mental evaluation of his client.
Authorities believe that Aaron Thomas, 40, is responsible for rapes and other attacks on 17 women from Virginia to Connecticut over the span of a decade.
A hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday in juvenile court in Manassas on the most recent attack — the Halloween 2009 abduction of three teenage trick-or-treaters in Woodbridge. Two were raped before Thomas was forced to flee.
Thomas’ court-appointed attorney, Ronald Fahy, said in a motion that Thomas has engaged in self-destructive behavior and refuses to communicate with him.
The hearing has been rescheduled for March 1. He faces up to life in prison.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)