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Sep 9, 2010 2:41 PM by Kate Mundy

Acadiana Rig Worker is a Serial Rapist Suspect

Detectives may have caught a serial rapist. A man arrested in Lafayette for attempted rape and aggravated burglary from an incident that occurred in Lafayette in December of 2009 is now wanted in the northeast for rapes there.

John Paul Thomas, 26, faces new charges from the Newark Police Department. They obtained a warrant charging Thomas with rape and burglary for two criminal incidents that occurred October 2006. 

Newark Police have placed a detainer on Thomas, ensuring he is held until proceedings can be undertaken to facilitate his return to Delaware. He will face two counts of rape first degree and two counts of burglary second degree.

The first alleged rape happened on October 8, 2006. The 19 year-old victim was asleep in her bedroom and was awoken by a male stranger around 5:30 a.m.  Police say the suspect forcibly raped the woman in her Newark house.  Evidence collected as part of the investigation included the suspect's DNA.

Twenty days later around 5:00 a.m, a 20 year-old victim was asleep on a couch and was awoken by a male stranger.  The suspect moved the victim to a nearby bedroom, then forcibly raped her. He left his DNA at the scene.

The same source was identified for both DNA samples. The two cases were later tied to an attempted burglary and rape in Lafayette on January 26, 2007. The suspect left blood at the attempted point of entry. The match was discovered by a hit through the national DNA database, known as CODIS.

A fourth DNA match was discovered after a rape in Lafayette on December 23, 2009.

The Newark Police Department said the four cases were eventually tied to Thomas, after DNA was taken from him and put into CODIS, following a domestic-related crime this March in Lafayette.

On September 3rd, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force picked up Thomas from an oil rig off the Louisiana Coast.  He's now in custody in Lafayette.

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