Schenectady County

Recent parolee charged in downtown Schenectady sex assault

The man accused in last month’s parking garage rape first asked directions from his alleged victim,
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The man accused in last month’s parking garage rape first asked directions from his alleged victim, then followed her into the garage and raped her, authorities said today.

He then threatened use of a chain and used brute force to overcome his victim, authorities said, even after she remotely activated her car’s alarm.

Brian L. Sullivan, 23, formerly of Hamilton Street, was formally charged this morning with first-degree rape, among other charges.

It was a case, police said, that was solved through good police work, community cooperation and help from the state DNA databank.

“We are most pleased to be able to close this case,” Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said at a morning news conference. “It was a heinous crime perpetrated on a most innocent person.”

Sullivan, police said, first approached the woman in the lobby of 600 Franklin St. around noon March 11, asking her for directions, which she gave. Instead of following the directions, however, he followed her into the underground level of the attached parking garage.

It was there that he attacked, knocking her to the ground and covering her mouth. She screamed and remotely activated her car alarm, according to papers filed today in court. Brandishing a chain, Sullivan responded by threatening to snap her neck, according to papers. The attack over, he fled, taking cash from the woman, police said.

Sullivan used a similar ruse before, authorities and records show. when he attacked a woman on Jay Street on March 18, 2006. The woman in that case told police she opened her car door and noticed a flier on the windshield. She got it, turned around and the man was standing there. He attacked but was thwarted when she knocked his glasses off. He took her briefcase and fled.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and was sentenced to two years in state prison. He was released in January, records show.

But it was that case, authorities said, that provided the break they needed in the current case. Authorities submitted a DNA sample from the current attack, and got a hit on Sullivan’s DNA profile. Later tests confirmed the earlier findings.

Also confirming his identity was the victim. For the first time in memory, police used an in-person lineup, where the victim identified Sullivan as her attacker.

Police usually use a photo lineup, a version that is not admissible later in court. The in-person lineup, however, is admissible.

Bennett credited work from Detectives Loretta Marco and Brian Carroll in helping solve the case. Both were on hand at Thursday’s press conference.

Bennett also offered help to the owners of the parking garage in making it more secure. The garage was the focus of police surveillance, both plain-clothed and uniform, in the intervening days and weeks.

Sullivan’s arrest is the second in Schenectady County in a rape case in recent weeks. Authorities last month charged notorious Albany rapist Darius Ashley with an April 2005 knifepoint rape of a college student on Hulett Street.

Categories: News

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