PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - A 46-year-old man due to be sentenced this week for sexual battery on a victim under the age of 12 is dead after he committed suicide in the Manatee County Jail, the sheriff’s office says.
Deputies say around midnight on Tuesday, they were conducting cell checks when they found Mark Suiter in his cell with a sheet tied around his neck. Suiter was unresponsive and deputies called for help as they removed the sheet and began performing CPR.
EMS arrived and tried to revive Suiter, but pronounced him dead around 12:30am. In his cell, deputies say they found a suicide note.
The sheriff’s office says Suiter was not on suicide watch and was awaiting sentencing for sexual battery on a victim under the age of 12, which was scheduled for Friday, October 11. Suiter was convicted of the crime last month following a jury trial.
According to court documents, deputies say Suiter committed the sexual battery over a period of years, from January 2011 until December 2015, starting when the girl was 7-years-old and continuing until she was 11.
The girl’s mother contacted deputies in January 2017 when the girl told her about the incidents.
During an interview with Manatee Children’s Services, the girl detailed the crimes, which included anal and vaginal rape. At one point, she had to be taken to the hospital where she said she lied about why she was bleeding as Suiter had threatened her, saying if she told anyone she would never see her family again.
Suiter was arrested in December 2017 and denied sexually battering the girl, however, he was convicted in September 2019.