Jury Finds Virginia Man Guilty of Attempting to Sexually Assault 7-Year-Old at Elmhurst Banquet Hall
"Courageous little girl" turns the tables on child predator, state's attorney says.
A jury has found Priyang Parikh, 31, of Alexandria, Va., guilty of attempting to sexually assault a young girl at an Elmhurst banquet hall in 2010. The jury deliberated for about three hours after the trial before returning its verdict in front of Judge Kathryn Creswell, according to a Thursday press release from the State's Attorney's Office.
Parikh traveled from his home in Virginia to attend the Sept. 5 wedding, despite not knowing the bride or groom or anyone else in attendance, the press release said. Once at the wedding, Parikh lured the young girl into a private room by offering her candy. When he was alone with his victim, Parikh told the girl to close her eyes and open her mouth. He then pulled down his pants and exposed his penis to her, according to court documents.
The girl screamed, and Parikh fled the banquet hall. As Parikh ran away, the young victim and some of her friends chased after him.
Parikh was identified after an investigation led by the Elmhurst Police Department.
On Sept. 10, 2010, a DuPage County grand jury indicted Parikh on one count of attempted predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class 1 Felony, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child, a Class 4 Felony.
Parikh faces four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
“The very idea that someone would travel hundreds of miles to crash a wedding with the sole intent of finding a young victim to satisfy his sexual desires is revolting,” DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said Thursday. “I would like to thank the Elmhurst Police Department, particularly Det. John Tarpey and Officer Alexander Kefaloukos, for their outstanding work on apprehending Mr. Parikh."
He also thanked the victim.
"Most of all, I would like to thank this young victim for the courage she has shown throughout this entire ordeal," Berlin said. "Mr. Parikh thought he had an easy target that night, but this courageous little girl turned the tables on him and was instrumental in today’s verdict.”
Parikh’s bond has been revoked. A pre-sentence report will be returned next month.