A Pennsylvania man was arrested Monday on child rape charges that may stretch back as far as 40 years, police said, describing the alleged serial rapist as a “real-life bogeyman” and “trophy collector.”
William Charles Thomas, 58, was busted on charges that he raped at least five children in assaults going back to 1997. He was also charged with possessing and disseminating child porn, People reported.
“This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” said Matt Weintraub, the Bucks County District Attorney, in a press conference.
The manager of the Midway Village Trailer Park, where Thomas lived and worked, first contacted police about the case in November, after a new trailer park occupant found a piece of plywood on his property on which someone had written out a description of sexually assaulting multiple young children.
The manager believed that the plywood belonged to Thomas, who he had hired to renovate the trailer.
Police investigated Thomas’s past and finally obtained a warrant for his home last week. Inside, they found over 1,000 photographs and pictures of naked children “prominently display[ed]” in his room, according to a court affidavit. Multiple pairs of prepubescent girls’ underwear, apparently dirty, hung above his bed, and hundreds more he kept in storage.
“This was a perverse shrine to his criminal conquests,” Weintraub said.
Thomas also wrote about the assaults, police said, documenting the children he supposedly first molested back in the 1970s. He wrote that some of the children he assaulted were asleep or too young to report the abuse, police alleged.
Investigators confronted Thomas, who admitted to sexually assaulting children, including kids he babysat, and said that he had been attracted to children since he was a teenager.
The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania will allow any of Thomas’s victims to seek justice until they turn 50, and police are encouraging more people to come forward with information.
“I pray that there aren’t [more victims],” Weintraub said, “but I expect that there will be.”
[Image: Bucks County}