Hainesport man gets up to 30 years for sexually assaulting the girl

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Thomas Padikal was sentenced Tuesday to 15 to 30 years in state prison for sexually abusing a girl beginning in 2007 when she was 8.

A Hainesport man could spend the next 30 years in prison for sexually abusing a Pennsylvania girl on a daily basis over a period of years.

Thomas Padikal, 72, was sentenced Tuesday to 15 to 30 years in state prison after a jury found him guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and related charges in June. The abuse began in 2007 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, when the girl was 8 and continued for two years, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

Authorities said the abuse ended when Padikal “lost access to the victim,” and he remained in Bucks County working as a physicist in radiology and oncology for several years before moving to Burlington County.

After he lost contact, Padikal stalked the girl on social media, created a website sharing his obsession with the victim and maintained a PowerPoint file with pornographic images depicting the victim’s face superimposed on grown women’s bodies, according to the DA’s office.

Last year, Padikal texted the victim telling her that he “sacrificed” himself for her sexual education and gave the victim the same message in a phone call recorded by Bensalem police, according to prosecutors.

New Jersey State Police assisted in Padikal’s arrest in November after Bensalem police began investigating following a 2018 report from Texas.

In a victim impact letter read in court Tuesday by Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy, the girl said the abuse she suffered left her “trapped in the prison of my own mind” and that she was “unable to be a child.” To dissuade Padikal, she said she would keep herself disheveled and dirty to stop the abuse.

McElroy argued for a lengthy prison sentence due to the nature of the crimes and for Padikal’s “complete lack of remorse” as well as for his attempts from jail to offer the victim money to drop the case.

“This defendant preyed on a child,” McElroy said. “She was vulnerable, and the defendant exploited that.”

During sentencing, Padikal denied wrongdoing and asked to go home to be with his friends and to continue his career.

“I maintain my innocence,” he said. “I am very shocked at the allegation and the way it was made.”

Bucks County Judge Raymond F. McHugh rejected Padikal’s attempts to shift blame as “nonsense,” adding his conduct caused the victim serious harm. Testimony from Padikal’s friends and colleagues about his character did not change McHugh’s mind.

“But he is not an excellent human being,” McHugh said. “There is no doubt in my mind that he is guilty of this offense.”

McHugh credited Bensalem, New Jersey State Police and Bucks County detectives for their work on the case, saying it was “police work at its finest.”

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