DA: Rape suspect tried to have victim killed

Patrick O'Sullivan of East Moriches, who was charged

Patrick O'Sullivan of East Moriches, who was charged with raping a woman, conspired in jail to have his victim and a potential witness against him killed, Suffolk County prosecutors said. (Credit: SCPD)

An East Moriches man accused of raping a woman last year conspired from his jail cell to have a hit man kill the victim and a potential witness, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The would-be assassin -- an inmate about to be released -- revealed the plot last month to his attorney, who then alerted Suffolk County authorities.

The alleged rapist, Patrick O'Sullivan, 20, is now facing a murder conspiracy charge.


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O'Sullivan hatched the plan with the other prisoner in the county jail in Riverhead by writing messages on paper, folding them into paper airplanes and "kiting" them down the cellblock, District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

Spota said O'Sullivan provided detailed instructions and requested that both killings be carried out before the holiday season.

"After you kill the victim, dump her body in the water," O'Sullivan told the hit man, according to Spota. "After you kill the witness, bury the witness so that after the case against me collapses and I get out of jail, I can dig the body up, cut his head off and mail it to his family for the holidays."

In one of the messages, according to Spota, O'Sullivan wrote: "Without a vic's statement the DA's case against me would lose all the power, right? Write me back. Use this sheet . . . I'll flush it when it's full."

Instead, the prospective hit man kept the jailhouse correspondence, and it's now in the hands of prosecutors.

"He gave us everything," Spota said.

The identity of the cooperating inmate was not revealed, but Spota said he has since gotten out of jail. Spota declined to say whether the witness was rewarded in any way for revealing the plot.

Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco said O'Sullivan has been held under tight security. "He's obviously being watched closely," DeMarco said. " . . . But you can't stop inmates from talking to each other."

O'Sullivan appeared in court briefly Wednesday on the new indictment, but he will not be arraigned on the charge and enter a plea until next week, Spota said.

The rape victim did not know O'Sullivan, but he knew the family who lived in the Stony Brook home where she was housesitting, and he knew they were in Florida when he broke in on Nov. 20, 2012, authorities said.

He is accused of tying the victim's hands behind her back with duct tape and sexually abusing her for about 45 minutes.

O'Sullivan was arrested in early December and has been held in the jail since then.

The prosecutor said the witness’ testimony was “critical” to the case, and he “had essential information that put the defendant in the house and committing the crimes.”

O'Sullivan's attorney, William Keahon of Hauppauge, could not be reached for comment.

CORRECTION: This story has been changed to reflect that the prosecutor said the witness had “essential information that put the defendant in the house and committing the crimes.”

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