2009-11-06 / Front Page

Victim's Relentless Effort Convicts Rapist

By Nicholas Briano

A former Rockaway resident, who is currently incarcerated for grand larceny, was convicted this week of two incidents of rape and robbery, one of which included an attack on a 12-year-old girl on her way to school in Bayswater, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Richard Thomas, 43, formerly of 2234 New Haven Avenue, withstood a four day trial in which the jury deliberated for just 19 minutes before finding him guilty in two separate cases of rape and robbery in 1996 and 2004.


Richard Thomas
According to trial testimony, Thomas approached a couple who were seated in their vehicle and stopped at an intersection on August 17, 1996, and, at gunpoint, ordered them out of the car. Thomas then robbed the male victim at gunpoint before locking him in the trunk of the vehicle. He then raped and robbed the female victim in a nearby vacant lot before also locking her in the trunk. In the second incident, Thomas struck again when he raped and robbed a 12-year-old girl in a driveway on Bay 27 Street on February 20, 2004, as she walked to the school bus.

But Thomas' crimes remained unsolved until 2006, when the victim from the 1996 incident traveled to Albany and successful-

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