A Virginia man convicted of attempting to sexually assault a then 7-year-old girl at an Elmhurst banquet hall in 2010, was sentenced Friday to six years in prison, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
Priyang Parikh, 31, of Alexandria, Va., was convicted on Oct. 18 of 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). The jury deliberated about three hours.
Friday's sentencing stems from allegations that Parikh left his home in Virginia to attend the Sept. 5 wedding reception, despite not knowing the bride or groom, or anyone else in attendance. Testimony during his trial indicated he was so involved in the reception that he appeared in photos and videos taken during the ceremony.
During the reception, Parikh lured a young girl into a private room by offering her candy. He then told the girl to close her eyes and open her mouth, and proceded to pull down his pants and expose his penis to her. The girl screamed and Parikh fled the banquet hall. The victim and some of her young friends chased after him as he ran into the parking lot holding up his pants, according to testimony.
“On Sept. 5, 2010, after traveling hundreds of miles, Mr. Parikh entered that banquet hall with one thing on his mind,” DuPage County State's Attorney Berlin said. “He was looking for an easy target, someone to satisfy his sick sexual desires. What he found, however, was anything but an easy target. He found a young girl who had the courage to stand up to him. Because of this young girl’s courage, Mr. Parikh will now spend the next six years of his life behind bars."
Berlin thanked the Elmhurst police, "particularly Det. John Tarpey and Officer Alexander Kefaloukos for their exceptional work in identifying and apprehending Mr. Parikh."
Parikh will be required to serve 50 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
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