Friday, August 21, 2009

Lake Eola rapist sentenced to 25 years in prison

Sarah Lundy
[Orlando] Sentinel Staff Writer
An Orange circuit court judge this morning [August 19] sentenced Phillip Eugene O'Connor to 25 years in prison for raping a woman at Lake Eola .After serving time in prison, O'Connor, 24, must remain on probation for five years and register as a sexual predator, according to Orange County Circuit Court Judge Jenifer Davis. O'Connor plead guilty to the charge of sexual battery.

State prosecutors dropped the kidnapping charge against him.Orlando police said O'Connor grabbed a woman as she walked along East Central Boulevard, dragged her into the bushes and raped her on May 6. Investigators questioned O'Connor, who was homeless, after it was reported that he fit the suspect description.

Authorities matched O'Connor's DNA with DNA taken at the scene, according to court records.Records show the State Attorney's Office filed a motion for HIV testing after the victim requested it. Walter Pacheco of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report

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