Suspect in 2 Del. 2006 rapes arrested in Louisiana

NEWARK, Del. - September 9, 2010

26-year-old John Paul Thomas has been charged with rape and burglary for two criminal incidents that occurred in October of 2006.

Around 5:30 a.m. back on October 8, 2006, a rape occurred on Wilbur Street in Newark, Delaware. The 19 year-old victim was asleep in her bedroom when she was woken up by a male stranger. The suspect raped the woman, then left the house. The victim was a Delaware Technical and Community College student at the time.

Then in the early morning hours of October 28, 2006, a rape occurred in the 100 block of Haines Street, Newark. A 20 year-old University of Delaware student was asleep on a couch when she was attacked by a man. The suspect moved the victim to a nearby bedroom, raped her, then left the house.

DNA evidence was collected as a result of both investigations. Police then received word that testing showed a DNA match between the two cases.

On January 26, 2007, around 2:15 a.m., an attempted burglary occurred at woman's residence in Lafayette, Louisiana. The suspect was unable to gain entry to the home, but blood was left at the scene, therefore police were able to collect DNA evidence. A hit through the national DNA database returned a match to the two rapes in Newark, Delaware.

Again, on December 23, 2009 a rape occurred in Lafayette, LA. Investigators collected evidence, which matched the Newark rape suspect's DNA.

Then in March of 2010, John Thomas was arrested for a domestic-related crime in Lafayette, LA. According to police, part of the arrest processing for the domestic-related crime is mandatory submission of a DNA sample. It was through this procedure that Thomas was ultimately tied to the four previous crimes.

One September 3, 2010, officers from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marshall's Office boarded an oil rig off the Louisiana Coast, on which Thomas was employed, and made the arrest.

Thomas is currently being held in Lafayette, Louisiana on charges stemming from the offenses committed in Louisiana. It is unknown when Thomas will be returned to Delaware to face the two rape charges.

Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.