An East Moriches man arrested for raping a woman at gunpoint after forcing himself into a Stony Brook home is facing new charges Wednesday after he allegedly conspired in prison to have the victim and a witnesses killed, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
The indictment against Patrick O’Sullivan, 21, was unsealed Oct. 2, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said at a news conference. He now faces two additional counts of conspiracy to commit murder after investigators allegedly uncovered his plot.
“The essential plan was, he would kill the victim of the sexual assault before she was able to testify. He would kill a witness for the prosecution who had essential information that put the defendant in the house and committing the crimes for which he had then been indicted,” Spota said of the alleged plot.
O’Sullivan allegedly propositioned a fellow inmate and offered the man $10,000 to kill the victim, $10,000 to kill the other witness and $3,000 to purchase the murder weapon. The solicited inmate – seeking an earlier release – reached out to prosecutors and signed a cooperation agreement, Spota said.
According to the district attorney’s office, O’Sullivan selected the potential hit man because the fellow inmate was due to be released “before the holidays.” The two reportedly communicated by “kiting” – a common jailhouse communication system, in which pieces of paper are folded into airplanes by inmates and floated down the jail tiers.
O’Sullivan believed that if the victim and witness were killed, he would be released from prison and the charges against him would be dismissed, Spota said. Prosecutors were able to obtain the “kites” after the cooperating witness passed them off to investigators. In one the notes, O’Sullivan asked the hit man, “Without a vic’s statement the DA’s case against me would lose all the power, right?”
The jailhouse notes and a letter sent to the fellow inmate after his release allegedly contained very detailed descriptions of the witnesses and instructions on how O’Sullivan wanted the bodies disposed of.
“After you kill the victim, dump her body in the water. 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,” O’Sullivan allegedly told the hired gun in a letter obtained by prosecutors.
O’Sullivan is accused of entering a Stony Brook home with a loaded rifle and a mask covering his face through an unlocked kitchen door on Nov. 20, 2012. Inside the house, he allegedly forced himself upon the victim – a house sitter – for more than an hour after binding the woman’s hands with duct tape and firing two gunshots “to scare the woman into not resisting him,” prosecutors said. After the attack, the victim was left tied up and used her tongue to dial 911.
Spota said O’Sullivan knew the homeowner would be out of town and had hired the victim to watch the home. He was allegedly familiar with the layout and was friends with the owner, who was vacationing in Florida at the time.
He faces a potential life sentence on the previous charges, which include counts of predatory sexual assault, first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sex abuse, first-degree burglary and criminal use of a firearm.
Spota said he personally met with the victim to discuss the new charges against O’Sullivan after his office concluded they had “an air tight case.” During the news conference, he said steps were being taken to ensure the woman’s safety and that the victim is now confident that there will be no further efforts made against her life.
Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco said O’Sullivan has been moved to a more secure area in the county’s correctional facility. “This inmate is housed in a special housing area,” he said.
O’Sullivan will appear Oct. 8 at the Suffolk County courthouse in Riverhead to be arraigned on the new charges. He faces up to 25 years behind bars for each conspiracy count, if he is convicted.