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Local

Elgin man who fled before trial found guilty of sexually abusing girl

Mario Piñeda faces minimum of 42 years in prison

A Kane County jury on Thursday found Mario Piñeda, 37, of the zero to 100 block of South DuBois Avenue, Elgin, guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, both felonies.
A Kane County jury on Thursday found Mario Piñeda, 37, of the zero to 100 block of South DuBois Avenue, Elgin, guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, both felonies.

An Elgin man who failed to appear in court for his trial faces a minimum of 42 years in prison after he was convicted for sexually assaulting a child he knew.

A Kane County jury on Thursday found Mario Piñeda, 37, of the zero to 100 block of South DuBois Avenue, guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, both felonies.

Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Matt Rodgers and Lori Schmidt presented evidence during the four-day trial that on multiple occasions in 2016, Piñeda sexually assaulted the victim, according to a news release from the Kane County State's Atttorney's Office. Piñeda knew the victim, who was younger than 13 years old.

The victim told her parents about the assaults and her father made a report to the police, the release stated.

His next court appearance is set for March 26 for motions, sentencing and for forfeiture of bond. In addition to the prison term, Piñeda must register for life as a sexual offender in accordance with the Illinois Sexual Offender Registration Act.

Piñeda had been free on $20,000 bond. He last appeared in court for a Sept. 20, 2019, hearing. He failed to appear for a Jan. 9 hearing and Kane County Associate Judge Charles Petersen issued a warrant for his arrest.

Anyone with information about where Piñeda might be found are asked to call the Kane County Child Advocacy Center at 630-208-5160.

“I’m proud of this victim for showing the strength to tell her story at her abuser’s trial," Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the release. "Her courage towers over that of Mr. Piñeda, who fled like a coward instead of owning up to his selfish crimes."

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