The Suffolk Police computer crimes unit has charged four Long Island men with using Internet chat rooms to seek a sexual relationship with someone they thought was a 13-year-old girl, but who in fact was a detective, authorities said.
"This sends a message to these predators and would-be predators that our police department will be monitoring you," Suffolk Executive Steve Levy said Friday at police headquarters in Yaphank.
The men, who were arrested Thursday, used MySpace.com and other chat rooms to seek underaged girls, Det. Sgt. John Cowie, chief of the Suffolk computer crimes section, said. All four were taken into custody when they arranged to have sex with the fictitious girl and showed up at a public spot on the South Shore of Suffolk County, he said. Thomas J. Fitzpatrick, 27, of One Georgia Rd. in Amity Harbor, was charged with attempted rape and attempted dissemination of indecent materials to a minor. He is a temporary office worker assigned to Newsday. "Thomas Fitzpatrick is not an employee of Newsday. He is employed by Kelly Services and was assigned by them to do temporary work at Newsday for the past five months," said Newsday spokeswoman Dixie Comeau. "Newsday has directed Kelly Services not to assign Mr. Fitzpatrick to us, pending the outcome of the case."
Fitzpatrick used a telephone at Newsday's transportation night operations office to arrange the meeting to have sex, the police said.
A second suspect, David M. Murillo, 20, of 114 Glenway Lane in Syosset, a student at Dowling College, has a criminal record, police said. Murillo pleaded guilty to harassment after a 6-year-old girl complained about his conduct while he was a counselor at the Thomas School of Horsemanship in Melville last summer, the police said. Murillo's mother, Roni Murillo, declined to comment on the new charge.
James J. Marciano, 39, of 2739 Remsen St. in Baldwin was charged with attempted criminal sex act. Michael A. Anello, 25, of 54 Garden Court in Ronkonkoma, was charged with attempted rape. Each was also charged with attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor. All four men were arraigned Friday at First District Court in Central Islip.
None of the suspects could be reached for comment.