DNA MATCHES LEAD TO ARREST OF JOSHUA TREE SERIAL RAPIST

DNA MATCHES LEAD TO ARREST OF JOSHUA TREE SERIAL RAPIST

A Joshua Tree man suspected in four rapes is scheduled to be arraigned in court today.  According to a Sheriff’s Department press release, an unidentified woman went to High Desert Medical Center July 22, and said Thomas Cole, 40, had raped her.

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Cole was arrested that day for investigation of rape, and has been held in the Morongo Basin Jail ever since on $250,000 bail. Four days later, on July 26, the Sheriff’s Department was notified by the County Crime Lab that Cole’s DNA matched an unsolved rape report from June 20, 2009, in Joshua Tree. Additional information revealed that Cole had been named as a suspect in two additional rape investigations. According to the press release, Cole befriended the victims for a short time prior to allegedly raping them. On Friday, the County District Attorney’s office filed three felony counts of rape and one count of attempted rape against Thomas Cole. Anyone with additional information should call Detective Erik Smoot at 760-366-4175.

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