Sex offender charged with raping, exposing woman to HIV

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 11, 2014 

David L. Thomas

A man once convicted of aggravated sexual assault has recently been charged with a 2010 raping and exposing a Columbus woman to HIV, according to Columbus Police officials.

In 2010, a 30-year-old woman reported that she was kidnapped by two men while walking through Ashley Station apartments, Sex Crimes Sgt. Mark Richards said Tuesday. The two men forced the woman to enter a vehicle and drove her from the 2321 Olive Street apartments to an unknown house near Cusseta Road, Richards said.

After a rape kit was performed, police say they were able to match 61-year-old David Lee Thomas' DNA to the crime, and he was brought in for questioning. Later, warrants charging Thomas with rape and reckless conduct endangering another by an HIV-infected person were released.

But it would be years before Thomas could be transferred to face those charges.

According to Alabama court documents, Thomas' failure to appear in Russell County court on a 2005 cocaine possession charge led to his arrest the following year. A grand jury indicted him on the charge in August 2006.

That charge led authorities to discover that Thomas failed to register as a sex offender with the Russell County Sheriff's Office, after he moved to 12th Avenue in Phenix City. He signed a plea deal suggesting a sentence of 10 years for the offense in April 2006. A grand jury indicted him on the charge in October 2006, but he wasn't incarcerated until 2011.

The Illinois Sex Offender Registry website indicates that Thomas has a history of failing to notify authorities of his whereabouts. The website lists Thomas' location as unknown, stating that he fled his address without giving notice.

The website lists him as convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a person under 18-years-old in Cook County, though the details of that assault are not available.

Richards said after Thomas was released from an unspecified Alabama prison, he was transferred to Muscogee County Jail on Jan. 30. He awaits a hearing in Muscogee County Superior Court.

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