Elgin man still at large after skipping trial gets 47 years for child sex assault

Mario Piñeda | Kane County State's Attorney's Office

An Elgin man who skipped his trial earlier this year for sexually assaulting a child he knew in 2016 will face a 47-year prison sentence when he’s caught.

On Jan. 16, a jury found 37-year-old Mario Piñeda guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the Kane County state’s attorney’s office said.

Piñeda sexually assaulted the girl, who was younger than 13 at the time, on multiple occasions in 2016, prosecutors said. The child told her parents about the abuse and her father contacted police.

Piñeda, who lives in Elgin, last appeared in court on Sept. 20, 2019, and was free on $20,000 bail, prosecutors said. A new warrant was issued for his arrest Jan. 9 when he failed to appear in court for the start of his trial.

He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life in addition to his prison sentence, the state’s attorney’s office said.

“This victim has showed so much bravery and strength throughout her ordeal, overcoming her fear to tell her parents about the abuse, providing important details to investigators and telling her story in court,” State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in a statement. “Mr. Piñeda, on the other hand, was too much of a coward to face her.”

Anyone with information on Piñeda’s whereabouts is asked to call the Kane County Child Advocacy Center at 630-208-5160.