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[whitespace] Man suspected of using a date rape drug will go to prison

Roger Thomas pleads guilty to attempted rape

Los Gatos--A Los Gatos man, arrested in March, has pled guilty to attempted rape and will be sentenced to five years in a state prison.

Results from DNA tests led Roger Thomas, 37, to reverse his statements that he did not have sex with the 25-year-old victim. On Aug. 21, Thomas entered in a guilty plea for attempted rape on an unconscious female. A formal sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14 at Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Thomas was arrested by Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police officers a week after the sexual assault occurred. On Feb. 23, he met with the victim for drinks at Mountain Charley's bar on N. Santa Cruz Avenue. The next memory the woman had was of waking up in Thomas' bed several hours later.

After going to Valley Medical Center, the woman led police officers to Thomas' home in Los Gatos, where he lived with a roommate. Police obtained a $750,000 warrant for Thomas' arrest and parole violation on a previous conviction, and arrested him on March 2. They executed a search warrant of Thomas home and gathered evidence. Samples of Thomas' blood and the victim's urine were taken.

Investigators originally suspected that Thomas had used a "date rape" drug such as gammahydroxybutyrate--known as GHB, "liquid ecstasy," or "liquid X." Lab tests, however, failed to turn up evidence of the odorless, colorless and powderless chemical, which is extremely difficult to trace.

Thomas pled guilty on the condition that he would have a five-year sentence, said Sgt. Tim Morgan. Until Aug. 21, he had maintained that he had never had sex with the victim. Thomas entered in the plea when he found out that DNA tests revealed that he was the suspect, said Morgan.

Between April 2000 and Thomas' arrest, police received more than five complaints from women who believed they were drugged by a man at a Los Gatos bar and then sexually assaulted. The women had no memory of what happened.

Although there is no evidence that Thomas was involved in those alleged assaults, Morgan said, "I find it ironic that all of a sudden, since his arrest, we haven't had any complaints."
Gloria I. Wang

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