2009-11-20 / Top Stories

'Cold Hit' Serial Rapist Gets 50 to 75 Years

Richard Thomas Richard Thomas A former Far Rockaway resident who is presently serving a threeyear sentence for grand larceny has been sentenced to an additional 50 to 75 years in prison following his convictions last month for the rape of a woman in 1996 and the rape of a 12-year-old girl in Bayswater in 2004.

District Attorney Richard Brown identified the defendant as Richard Thomas, 43, formerly of 2234 New Haven Avenue.

Following a four-day trial, the jury deliberated for 19 minutes before finding Thomas guilty on October 30, 2009, of two counts of firstdegree rape, three counts of firstdegree robbery, one count of firstdegree criminal possession of a weapon, three

counts of first-degree unlawful imprisonment and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Brown said, "DNA evidence that was collected from the rape victims at the time of the incidents and stored in a database was able to convict this defendant, thanks in part to a law for which the adult victim lobbied in Albany to have passed. This case underscores the crucial importance of DNA evidence which is irrefutable proof of guilt or innocence."

The District Attorney added, "The sentence imposed today is the maximum allowed under the laws available at the time the crimes were committed. It is a virtual life sentence and a measure of justice for the victims in this case whose lives have been irreparably changed. Thankfully, this defendant will never again be allowed to walk the streets."

Queens Supreme Court Justice Ron - ald D. Hollie sentenced the defendant to the maximum sentence of 12 ½ to 25 years for the rape and robbery of the female adult victim and 12 ½ to 25 years for the robbery of the male adult victim. He ordered the sentences to run consecutively to each other and to the sentence of 25 years for the rape and robbery of the 12-year-old girl. The total sentence imposed is an indeterminate sentence of 50 to 75 years in prison.

Brown said that, according to trial testimony, Thomas approached a couple who were seated in their vehicle 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.

Thomas then raped and robbed the female victim in a nearby vacant lot before also locking her in the trunk. In the second incident, Thomas attacked a 12-year-old girl in a driveway on Bay 27 Street on February 20, 2004, as she walked to the school bus. He raped her and robbed her of her lunch money.

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