Richard Thomas, a 42 year old convict, just seven months away from freedom, faced a Queens Supreme Court judge yesterday on rape charges after a DNA match connected the career criminal to two sexual assaults, including a vicious attack on a 12 year old girl.  Thomas now is facing up to 50 years behind bars.  He is charged with rape, robbery, unlawful imprisonment, criminal use of a firearm and endangering the welfare of a child.  He allegedly raped a woman and robbed her and her boyfriend in 1996.  He also allegedly assaulted a girl, 12, on her way to school, beating her in the face, raping her and even stealing her $3 in lunch money.

(New York)