DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A man formerly of Bismarck will spend the next 25 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a minor.

Gaurav “Gary” Kumar was charged with a single count of predatory criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony. Evidence presented in court showed that Kumar began grooming and then assaulting an 11-year-old girl almost immediately after he married her mother. She stayed silent for five years due to Kumar’s coercion and threat of violence before finally disclosing the abuse to a teacher. The teacher contacted DCFS and the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department, and after a thorough investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, Kumar was arrested and charged in January 2020.

At the sentencing hearing on Monday, the victim told Judge Charles Hall the effects the abuse had on her, both physically and emotionally. In addition to sentencing Kumar to prison, Hall mandated that he register as a sex offender for life. After release from prison, Kumar could spend anywhere from three years to life on parole, as decided by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Vermilion County State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy expressed her appreciation for the victim’s courage and her willingness to remain steadfast for over two years to obtain justice. Lacy also thanked the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department, Survivor Resource Center and her office’s advocates for their combined efforts and cooperation.