Forensic Advancements Lead to Arrest in 1988 Rape Case

Mason Police District – A 34-year-old sexual assault case was closed on Monday with the arrest of George Thomas Jr., 61, of Arlington. 

George Thomas Jr. was charged with two counts of rape, sodomy and abduction for a sexual assault that occurred at 10:40 p.m. on Aug. 24, 1988. George Thomas Jr. and the late Gregory Allen Thomas of Arlington abducted the 22-year-old victim as she left her job at the Skyline Mall at 5195 Leesburg Pike. 

The two brothers approached the victim in a parking garage and physically assaulted her. The victim was forced into her car and made to drive to a secluded location. The victim was led to a wooded area, and both men raped her before forcing her back into her car. The victim was made to drive to another location and raped again. 

The victim was able to escape to her car and drove away following the second assault. Fairfax County police officers responded the evening of the assault and forensic evidence was collected. A DNA Profile foreign to the victim was developed from the forensic evidence collected and searched against the Virginia DNA databank. The profile was also submitted to the National DNA databank. The victim provided details that were used to create a composite sketch of one of the suspects. Detectives received numerous tips with possible suspect information and followed up on all leads. No arrests were made. 

Detectives continued to investigate the assault throughout the years, submitting forensic evidence to national databases in hopes of identifying a suspect. An FCPD fingerprint examiner identified fingerprints found in the victim’s vehicle to new arrest records on file. 

One of the fingerprints was identified to Gregory Allen Thomas, who died in 2009. A second fingerprint recovered from the vehicle belonged to his brother, George Thomas Jr. Detectives obtained Gregory Allen Thomas’ blood card from the medical examiner. DNA analysis confirmed Gregory Allen Thomas was involved in the 1988 sexual assault. Detectives later provided a DNA sample for George Thomas Jr, who also matched DNA evidence recovered in 1988.  

On Monday, deputies with the United States Marshals Service and Metro Transit Police arrested George Thomas Jr. in Maryland. He was taken to the Adult Detention Center and was held without bond.  

“Advancements in technology allow us to revisit cases decades old with the resources at our disposal. No matter the time that has passed, our detectives and professional staff will always fight for answers, resolution, and some measure of justice for those effected by these crimes,” Major Ed O’Carroll,  Bureau Chief, Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensics Bureau.  

Victim specialists from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure the family is receiving appropriate resources and assistance. 

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call detectives at 703-814-7000. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App and follow the steps to “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.