(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) Police have arrested a 61-year-old man from Arlington County who allegedly abducted and raped a Fairfax County woman multiple times over three decades ago.
Fingerprint and DNA analyses suggest George Thomas Jr. and his now-deceased brother, Gregory Allen Thomas, were the offenders in the 1988 rape of a 22-year-old woman who got attacked as she was leaving work in Bailey’s Crossroads, the Fairfax County Police Department said this afternoon (Tuesday).
“This is another chapter for the victim in this case, and undoubtedly, it’s a lifetime of trauma and healing. In this case, justice is delayed, but justice is not denied,” Police Chief Kevin Davis said.
According to police, the woman was walking to her car after finishing work at Skyline Mall (5115 Leesburg Pike) on Aug. 24, 1988 when two men attacked her in a garage and forced her to drive her vehicle to a secluded, wooded area.
After allegedly raping her, the men forced the woman to drive to another location where they raped her again, said FCPD Maj. Ed O’Carroll, chief of the department’s cyber and forensics major crimes bureau.
“This is a profoundly horrifying series of events. The victim was able to escape in her car and fled the scene following the second assault,” O’Carroll said.
FCPD officers responded to the crime that night and collected “an abundant amount of forensic evidence,” including fingerprints lifted from the woman’s vehicle, O’Carroll said.
The woman provided a description of one of the men, leading police to develop a composite sketch that was widely circulated, but no tips materalized leading to an arrest. Submissions of the collected evidence to state and national DNA databases also came up empty, the FCPD says.
A breakthrough came in 2020 courtesy of an “astute” forensic examiner who matched one of the recovered fingerprints to a print in an unrelated Alexandria City arrest record, O’Carroll said at the press conference.
Police say advanced DNA analysis confirmed that Gregory Allen Thomas, who died in 2009 was one of the offenders in the rape. Detectives later obtained a “discarded” DNA sample from Thomas Jr., who was “alive, well and living in Arlington,” that indicated he was the second offender.
Thomas Jr. was arrested at a Metro station in Montgomery County on Monday (Nov. 21) by U.S. Marshal Service deputies, with Metro and Fairfax County police assisting. He’s currently being held in Montgomery County’s Adult Detention Center but is expected to be transferred to Fairfax County, where the case will be tried.
The FCPD didn’t immediately respond to inquiries seeking clarification on which station the arrest was made at and the nature of the Alexandria arrest.
However, Alexandria General District Court records show that a George Thomas was arrested on Sept. 12, 2020 on a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge. He was found guilty and sentenced to 30 days in jail, which were suspended. He also paid a $214 fine.
O’Carroll said that both brothers had been involved with the police in the past, and the department believes they may have been connected to other cases in Northern Virginia. He advised anyone with information to contact Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800, option 8.
Among those present at the press conference was the original lead detective on the case, Dick Kline, who had joined the FCPD in 1980 and retired in 2007.
“It gives you a sense of resolve when something like this happens, because you do actually live these cases with the victim for years and years,” Kline said. “There are times when you have no idea, no help from the public. It’s very difficult…Even though it’s more than 30 years later, it’s a blessing. It’s a blessing from above that finally justice prevails.”
James Cullum contributed to this report.
A 29-year-old man from Mount Vernon could face life in prison after pleading guilty to transporting a teen for sexual purposes, the Department of Justice announced yesterday.
Apipat Vutipawat pleaded guilty last Thursday (Nov. 10) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to charges that, from May 29, 2020 through June 2, 2020, he transported an unidentified minor from Virginia to Pennsylvania “with the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
According to the Observer-Reporter, Vutipawat was arrested on May 14, 2020 in Pennsylvania’s Richhill Township after police found him in a vehicle with a 14-year-old girl who said he was her boyfriend. He had allegedly met the girl through a dating app and faced multiple local assault charges.
Vutipawat pleaded guilty to aggravated indecent assault in Washington County Court and was sentenced to over three years in prison on Jan. 14, according to court records.
Vutipawat was indicted on three federal charges in March 2021, including traveling with the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct, transportation with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and obstruction of justice.
With his guilty plea, he faces a total sentence between at least 10 years and life in prison, a fine of up to $750,000, or both, according to the DOJ.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on March 16, 2023.
“Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant,” the DOJ news release said. “Pending sentencing, Vutipawat remains detained.”
The department says the case was part of its national Project Safe Childhood initiative, which started in May 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. The Fairfax County Police Department joined the investigation with federal, state and local law enforcement in Pennsylvania.
According to the department, community tips based on surveillance footage shared publicly on Monday (Oct. 17) led police to identify Patrick Craig Locke as the suspect in the assault, which occurred on Oct. 1 in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive.
Locke was arrested by Metro Transit Police at 4 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday) at the Metro Center station in D.C.
The FCPD says its detectives received “several tips” after reviewing surveillance footage from the hotel and releasing video captured at Metro stations that they believed the suspect had visited.
The department also reviewed body camera footage from police in Montgomery County, where Locke had been arrested in September on a theft charge, according to court records.
According to the District Court of Maryland, Locke is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County District Court for a preliminary hearing on Monday (Oct. 24). He has been charged with misdemeanor theft of $100 to $1,500 for a Sept. 8 offense in Silver Spring.
“Once identified, detectives obtained warrants for rape, burglary with the intent to commit rape, abduction with the intent to defile and brandishing,” the FCPD said in its blog post.
Locke allegedly entered a woman’s unlocked hotel room in the afternoon of Oct. 1 and sexually assaulted her, according to police. He later pointed a gun at “a man known to the victim” who learned about the assault and chased him, police said.
The FCPD says no firearm has been recovered so far.
Locke is currently in custody at D.C.’s Central Detention Facility but will be extradited to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, police said.
A woman was sexually assaulted by a man who brandished a firearm at a hotel in the Tysons West area earlier this month, the Fairfax County Police Department says.
The department’s Major Crimes Bureau Sex Abuse Squad is investigating a rape that reportedly occured on Oct. 1 at a hotel in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive — likely the Hawthorn Suites, according to a news release published today (Monday).
“Officers responded at 5:30 p.m., after receiving a report of a man that sexually assaulted a woman and brandished a firearm,” the FCPD said. “The suspect entered the unlocked hotel room, physically and sexually assaulted the victim and fled. A man known to the victim learned of the assault, saw the suspect and gave chase.”
According to police, the suspect was able to escape after pointing the gun at the other man. The woman was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Police say detectives have obtained surveillance footage from the hotel and Metro showing the man that they believe to be the suspect:
Detectives obtained video surveillance from the hotel of the suspect. As detectives continued to investigate, they also recovered video surveillance from the suspect entering the Metro at the Eastern Market station. The suspect switched to the Silver Line at the Capitol South station and exited at the Spring Hill station.
Officers with the Metro Transit Police Department determined the suspect entered the Metro at the Spring Hill station following the assault. The suspect took the Silver Line to Metro Center and switched to the Red Line in the direction of Glenmont. Detectives believe the suspect resides in the Washington D.C. area. The suspect is described as a Black man, 25-40 years-old, 5’8 – 6′, heavy build with short curly black hair that is partially dyed blonde.
A clip from the video shared by the FCPD shows a man wearing a necklace with a large medallion walking down a pedestrian bridge to a Metro station.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the investigating detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
A man who sexually abused children for years at a home day care in Annandale has been sentenced to life in prison, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced today (Friday).
Elwood Lewis Thomas, a 38-year-old man from Alexandria, will serve four life sentences and an additional 36 years in prison after being convicted last year on multiple counts of rape, aggravated sexual battery, and sexual penetration with an object, according to Descano’s office.
“We asked that Mr. Thomas be sentenced to life in prison because of his abhorrent history of sexually abusing children,” Descano said in a statement. “My thoughts are with these children and their families as they begin the journey of healing.
CA Descano announced today that an Alexandria man was sentenced to four life sentences plus 36 years after being convicted of two counts of rape, four counts of aggravated sexual battery, and two counts of object sexual penetration last year. pic.twitter.com/OIZ1zF2tnL
— Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Descano (@FairfaxCountyCA) August 26, 2022
Fairfax County police arrested Thomas in September 2019 and charged him with abusing three kids while they attended Happy Land Daycare from 2006 to 2010. The day care operated in the 6400 block of Holyoke Drive from approximately 1999 to 2012, the police department said at the time.
According to police, Thomas had been employed at the day care and was living in the house between 1999 and 2012. The children were between 4 and 8 years old at the time of the abuse, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney says.
Thomas had previously been arrested for molesting a girl at the day care in June 2012. The girl, then 14, alleged that Thomas had inappropriately touched her on multiple occasions when she was 11 or 12, The Washington Post reported at the time.
For that case, Thomas was convicted in 2013 of aggravated sexual battery of a child under 13. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney says he was sentenced to eight years in prison, but seven years were suspended, and he was ordered to spend 20 years on probation.
Just days before allegedly raping a woman at her apartment in Reston, Anthony Agee had been released from police custody on bond after being arrested on a felony drug charge, Fairfax County court records show.
Though only 22 years old, Agee has been in county courts on a variety of charges dating back to a Feb. 21, 2017 traffic violation for failing to obey a highway sign, where he paid a $30 fine, according to the General District Court’s online information system.
Though Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has faced criticism for prosecution decisions some see as overly lenient, his office says Agee wasn’t in custody in part due to a plea deal that prosecutors under his predecessor, Ray Morrogh, offered for an armed burglary attempt that occurred on April 30, 2018.
The deal was approved by a Fairfax County judge and capped the incarceration portion of Agee’s sentence at three years. He was released from jail in December 2020, according to the Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
“Our hearts break for the victim of the tragic crime in Reston over the weekend and we will prosecute this case to the full extent of the law,” the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office said.
Since being released from jail, Agee has been arrested four times, including on March 1, 2021 for stealing a vehicle and on Feb. 23 for an incident involving a gun and breaking and entering.
In the March 1 case, Agee was charged with vehicle theft, reckless driving, failure to identify himself to law enforcement, and failure to stop at the scene of an accident. The vehicle theft charge — the only felony — was downgraded to petit larceny, a misdemeanor.
Per court records, Agee didn’t contest the charges at a preliminary hearing on Sept. 1, 2021. The case also included a civil violation for possession of marijuana that was dismissed on Jan. 20 of this year.
A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge found earlier this month that the incident constituted a violation of Agee’s probation, but the judge took no further action and let him remain out on probation, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Agee’s Feb. 23 arrest stemmed from a shooting at the Paper Moon strip club in Springfield and led to felony charges of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and entering a structure with the intent to commit assault, battery or another felony, along with a misdemeanor for brandishing a firearm.
Agee was detained, but at an April 4 preliminary hearing, prosecutors dismissed the case without prejudice, according to court records.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office says it asked for a dismissal as a temporary measure, because the case needed further investigation, including DNA testing, search warrants, and other evidence gathering. Read More
(Updated at 10:45 a.m. on 8/24/2022) Fairfax County police have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with sexual assault of a woman in her apartment in Reston.
Anthony Agee, 22, was charged with intent to commit rape, abduction and the prevention of a 911 call in connection with the Sunday (Aug. 21) incident, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis announced in a press conference today (Tuesday).
According to police, the woman was watching television in her living room on the 2200 block of Lovedale Lane near South Lakes Drive when she woke up to a man there. The victim said the man raped her on the floor of her apartment at knifepoint.
She was hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening, according to Major Ed O’Carroll, commander of the Fairfax County Police Department’s major crimes bureau.
The suspect was arrested after a community search. Neighbors saw a man peeping out windows in the area before the attack.
Police officers also reviewed video footage from a previous incident on June 5 that showed the suspect in and around the area.
Another resident told police of a handprint that was visible on glass doors in the area. Police ran the fingerprints through an expedited search and were able to pinpoint the suspect, according to O’Carroll.
Davis said the investigation is “far from over,” referring to the suspect as a “vicious, callous criminal” and a “monster.” Police believe he may be connected to other incidents, and the suspect was known to the community.
“We’re not done with him yet,” Davis said. “He’s off the street. That is the good news.”
Updated at 12:25 a.m. on 8/23/2022 — A man has been taken into custody, and charges are “forthcoming,” Fairfax County police said.
Earlier: A woman reported being sexually assaulted at knifepoint while in her apartment in the Shadowood area of Reston, the Fairfax County Police Department said today (Monday).
Officers were called to the 2200 block of Lovedale Lane around 11:50 p.m. yesterday (Sunday) after the unidentified victim said she “awoke to a man standing inside her apartment.”
“The man threatened the woman with what appeared to be a knife and sexually assaulted her,” the FCPD said in its report. “The suspect is described as a black man, unknown age, approximately 5’6″, thin build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, a mask, and gloves.”
The woman was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, police said.
Police conducted a search of the area but haven’t identified or located a suspect yet.
“Our detectives have been working nonstop on this case,” Major Ed O’Carroll, the FCPD’s Major Crimes Bureau commander for cyber and forensics, said. “We’ve developed and are actively following up on several promising leads. I have the utmost confidence the suspect will be identified soon and we will do everything we can to hold him accountable for this heinous crime.”
The FCPD says detectives are looking for any home surveillance video that community members might have recorded last night.
Information can be shared with the police department at 703-246-7800, option 2, or through Crime Solvers, which can be reached by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
This is the second sexual assault that has reportedly occurred in Fairfax County within the past week. Police said a woman had been assaulted by a man with a gun in the Mount Vernon area last Wednesday (Aug. 17).
Fairfax County police are still on the lookout for a suspect after a woman reported being sexually assaulted at gunpoint last week near the Sacramento Center in Mount Vernon.
The woman was walking east towards Richmond Highway when she “was approached from behind” around 9:29 p.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 17) in the 8700 block of Sacramento Drive, the Fairfax County Police Department said on Friday (Aug. 19).
“The victim was pulled into the nearby bushes where she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint,” police said. “The victim was able to break free from the suspect, and he ran away in an unknown direction.”
According to police, the woman was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
A search for the unidentified suspect remains ongoing:
Patrol units, along with our canine and helicopter, saturated the area to locate the man responsible for this incident, but he was not found.
Yesterday, detectives canvassed the area to identify any witnesses and surveillance footage that may have captured the suspect before or after the attack. The suspect was described as an unknown race male, 5’8″ to 6′, and with an average build. At the time of the attack, he was wearing all black clothing with gloves and a black mask covering his head. He was armed with a handgun. Detectives are asking community members who reside in the area to review home surveillance in the evening hours of Aug. 17 for any suspicious people.
The FCPD says anyone who might have information about the incident can contact its detectives at 703-246-7800, option 2. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
Updated at 9:45 a.m. on 8/16/2022 — Hektor Fernando Alvarez’s employment at Virginia Hospital Center was terminated on Friday (Aug. 12), the hospital says.
Earlier: A man from Falls Church has been arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a patient under his care when he worked at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (3600 Joseph Siewick Drive), the Fairfax County Police Department announced today (Friday).
The victim — a patient who was receiving long-term care at the hospital — told a hospital technician on July 7 that his previous caretaker had “fondled the victim’s genitalia on two separate occasions,” police said.
Detectives from FCPD’s Major Crimes Bureau began an investigation on July 8. They identified the caretaker as 21-year-old Falls Church resident Hektor Fernando Alvarez, who was working for a company called Metropolitan Healthcare Services (MHS) that Inova had contracted “to provide sitter services for patients,” according to police.
The FCPD says Alvarez is no longer employed by MHS, but he was working as a medical technician at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. There have been no incidents reported at that hospital, according to the department.
Alvarez was arrested after a month-long investigation on Aug. 9 and has been charged with aggravated sexual battery with a victim through mental incapacity or helplessness.
“He was held on no bond but later released on a secured bond,” the police department said, which means the money was primarily covered by a bond company.
Prosecutors had argued for Alvarez to be denied a bond, but the judge rejected their recommendation, FFXnow was told.
Online case information indicates that Alvarez was arraigned at the Fairfax County General District Court on Wednesday (Aug. 10) and had a bond hearing yesterday (Thursday). A court employee told FFXnow that the bond was served this morning.
Inova Health System says it has been working with the victim’s family and MHS to respond to the assault allegation.
“Inova has been in contact with the patient, their family, and the contracted staffing agency in regard to this troubling alleged incident,” a spokesperson for the nonprofit said in a statement. “Safety is central to everything we do at Inova, and we expect all who work or provide services in our care sites to meet that high standard.”
The FCPD says anyone with additional information about the case can contact its detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS), and online.
“Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars,” the FCPD said. “Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.”
A preliminary hearing for Alvarez has been set for 2 p.m. on Sept. 28.
Photo via Google Maps