NEWPORT, Maine — A convicted sex offender who has been in hiding for more than two years faces additional charges after being captured over the weekend in Newport.
Newport Police Chief Leonard Macdaid said Timothy Thomas, 30, whose last known address was in Portland, was arrested Saturday after two women ages 14 and 30 reported that Thomas assaulted them in separate incidents. Macdaid said the investigation into the assaults is ongoing but that the charges against Thomas may be sexual in nature pending a decision by Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy.
Almy could not be reached Tuesday because it was a state shutdown day.
Portland police Lt. Gary Rogers said Thomas was convicted of sex crimes in 2002 in Portland District Court and in 2003 in Cumberland County Superior Court. Rogers said those convictions require Thomas to report his whereabouts with the Maine Sex Offender Registry.
The Portland Police Department obtained an arrest warrant in June 2008 after Thomas failed to comply with the registry requirements, but Thomas has been missing ever since. Thomas also faces an unlawful sexual contact charge from 2007 in Portland, said Rogers.
Macdaid said Thomas has been living in a mobile home in Newport for the past year under the alias “A.J. Rush.” Macdaid declined to identify the location of the residence in an effort to protect the identities of the alleged victims.
“He’s been on the run for quite a few years,” said Macdaid. “We’re releasing his alias because chances are, wherever he was before coming to Newport, he might have assaulted someone.”
Macdaid said Thomas’ latest alleged victims told police that Thomas only left the home at night and only while laying down in the back seat of a car. He attributed his behavior to anxiety problems, said Macdaid.
The two women allegedly assaulted by Thomas found his picture on the Maine Sex Offender Registry’s website before calling police, said Macdaid. Patrol Officer Jeremy Damren and a deputy from the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department arrested Thomas on Saturday without incident. Macdaid said Thomas admitted to his true identity after being questioned about his picture on the sex offender website.
“Thank God this is all that happened,” said Macdaid. “I’m glad we caught this guy.”
When Thomas disappeared in 2007, he may have taken measures to make it appear to his family that he had died, said Macdaid. Lt. Rogers said that version of events is in line with his understanding, though Rogers could not provide details in part because of the open investigation in Newport.
According to the Maine Sex Offender Registry’s website, Thomas’ first conviction was for sexual abuse of a minor less than 14 years old. The second was for unlawful sexual contact.
Thomas is being held in Cumberland County Jail on $1,250 bail. No court appearance has yet been scheduled, according to a jail intake officer on Tuesday afternoon.