The arrest of a Connecticut man in a string of rapes along the East Coast offers a look at a case unusual for its size, scope and level of cooperation among authorities.

Thirty-nine-year-old Aaron Thomas appeared in a New Haven court this week after being arrested by authorities who say a DNA match confirms he is the so-called East Coast rapist.

Investigators say nearly 20 victims were attacked or spied on since 1997 from Virginia to Connecticut. Authorities compiled a suspect list over several years but narrowed in on Thomas when a tip came in from Maryland.