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SUBURBAN MAN CHARGED WITH MOLESTING WOMAN AS SHE SLEPT

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Thursday, April 29, 2010 — A Melrose Park man will appear in bond court today on charges that he molested a 20-year-old woman who considered him a father figure, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced.

Rajenderkumar PatelRajenderkumar Patel, 57, of the 2900 block of Prater Avenue, is charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse. He knew the victim because of her relationship with one of his children and she told investigators she trusted him because of that bond. Patel was brought in for questioning about the incident on Tuesday night and arrested late Wednesday.

On Feb. 14, Patel contacted the victim and asked her to come to his home. When she arrived, she found he had prepared a Valentine’s Day dinner for her. He also presented her with flowers and balloons, expressions she believed were related to their bond, which she saw as parental. She accepted the meal and gifts and shortly after, she became tired and he offered her a bed to sleep in.  She told investigators she thought she was tired from working all day. When she woke up, she found Patel was molesting her under her clothing. The victim immediately fled the house.

She did not contact investigators until March 30. The victim, who is Indian, indicated she was torn about notifying authorities because of cultural implications tied to someone touching her in a sexual way. She also indicated that she was hesitant because of her fatherly relationship with Patel.

Sheriff’s police detectives talked to her about the gravity of the situation and on Tuesday, were able to bring Patel in for questioning. On Wednesday, he provided a detailed, six-page statement about what he did to the victim, leading to the criminal charge.

Patel will appear in Maywood bond court later today.

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