A physicist and former Bensalem resident will spend up to 30 years in state prison for the persistent sexual abuse of a minor.

Thomas Padikal, 71, began abusing the 8-year-old victim in 2007. For two years, he tormented a young girl almost every day.

Thomas Padikal, 71. Image via Crimewatch.

Eventually, the victim’s family moved away. When Padikal then moved to New Jersey, it seemed his actions might never have come to light

But Padikal then tried to reach out to his victim in 2018. The Bensalem Township Police recorded a telephone conversation. He told the woman, now an adult, he “sacrificed” himself for her sexual education.

Despite the recording, and other disturbing material presented in court, Padikal dismissed the victim’s claim.

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

Among the evidence Deputy District Attorney Kristin McElroy presented in court was a website Padikal created documenting his obsession, along with edited pornographic photos with the victim’s face superimposed.

With this information, a jury spent less than 30 minutes deliberating. Judge Raymond McHugh agreed with the verdict.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he is guilty of this offense,” McHugh said.

Padikal may have evaded justice if he had not reached out to his victim. Now, he will spend 15 to 30 years behind bars.