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Va. county indicts 'East Coast Rapist' suspect

March 7: Fairfax County, Va., Police Chief David Rohrer, followed by Prince William County, Va., Police Chief Charlie Deane, enter the room for a news conference about the arrest of Aaron Thomas, in Manassas, Va. A grand jury has since indicted Thomas, the alleged rapist who faces possible life in prison.

March 7: Fairfax County, Va., Police Chief David Rohrer, followed by Prince William County, Va., Police Chief Charlie Deane, enter the room for a news conference about the arrest of Aaron Thomas, in Manassas, Va. A grand jury has since indicted Thomas, the alleged rapist who faces possible life in prison.  (AP)

A grand jury in a Virginia county has indicted the man police believe is the East Coast Rapist and is responsible for rapes and other attacks on 17 women since 1997.

Loudon County prosecutor Jim Plowman said Monday the charges against 39-year-old Aaron H. Thomas include rape, forcible sodomy and abduction with intent to defile. If convicted of any of the three charges, he could face life in prison.

Authorities say Thomas attacked a 41-year-old woman in 2001, tying her up and raping her in her apartment after threatening her with a screwdriver.

Police arrested Thomas earlier this month in Connecticut, where he is being held.