Lombard man goes to prison for sex with mentally challenged woman
A Lombard man was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for molesting a mentally challenged woman despite a protective order barring him from contact.
Shreya Lal, 21, received the punishment after he pleaded guilty but mentally ill to committing criminal sexual assault. He also must register as a lifetime convicted sex offender upon his release from prison.
Lal has remained in custody since his arrest June 15. Defense attorney John "Jack" Donahue secured a plea agreement that will allow Lal to receive treatment at Dixon Correctional Center for neurological, developmental and cognitive problems that stretch back to infancy.
Authorities said his accuser is now 21, but functions mentally as a 6-year-old with an IQ in the mid-50s. She lives with her mother, who obtained a May 15, 2009 protective order in DuPage County on behalf of her daughter against Lal, described back then as the girl's boyfriend. In the order, Lal is accused of physical and sexual violence.
Despite the protective order, Lal admitted sexually assaulting the young woman June 15 in his parent's home on the 100 block of Regency Drive in Lombard after he sent a taxi to pick her up to come see him. Afterward, he took the woman's cellular phone and threatened to "hunt her down" if she reported him, authorities said.
The two met on Facebook months earlier.
"He admitted (to police) that he knew she was mentally disabled and not on the same level as him," prosecutor Enza LaMonica said.
Lal was placed on court supervision in 2008 after he was convicted of public indecency while exposing himself in Westmont. Prosecutors said he also was investigated, but never charged, with offering to pay another mentally challenged girl $5,000 to perform a sex act in October 2008 as she skipped down the street from a Pace bus stop in Lombard.
Lal must serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. He was born in India, but came to the U.S. in 1999. He is a U.S. citizen, his attorney said. DuPage Circuit Judge Daniel Guerin presided over Thursday's plea deal.