Aaron H. Thomas, the so-called East Coast Rapist, is expected to plead guilty Tuesday for the Halloween abduction of three teenage girls and the rape of two in 2009 in Prince William County.

Thomas, 41, is suspected in at least 17 rapes between 1997 and 2009 in Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island. On Nov. 30, he is expected to also plead in to a rape in Loudoun County. He faces the possibility of several life terms in prison.

Thomas is the son of a D.C. police officer who later committed suicide, reports the Associated Press. Family members described a troubled childhood that included a two-week stay at a psychiatric facility in Georgetown after he set a girl's hair on fire. Thomas later spent the first three years of high school in an Upper Marlboro treatment center.

-- Scott McCabe