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Mineola man inappropriately touched girls at street fair, police say

Peter Koonanikal inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl and

Peter Koonanikal inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl at the Mineola Street Fair on Sunday, police said. Credit: NCPD

A Mineola man was arrested and charged with sexual abuse and child endangerment after police said he inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl at the Mineola Street Fair on Sunday.

Nassau County police said detectives were able to identify and arrest Peter Koonanikal, 56, at 4:35 p.m. after the 14-year-old victim took his picture, then "quickly alerted her parent" — who located Koonanikal and "observed him inappropriately grabbing" the second victim.

Koonanikal was charged with first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of forcible touching.

 At his arraignment Monday in First District Court in Hempstead, bail was set at $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash, according to a court website. The next court appearance for Koonanikal, whose lawyer is Steven Gaitman of Hempstead, was set for Thursday. 

The fair took place on Jericho Turnpike west of Roslyn Road between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a similar act by Koonanikal to call Third Squad detectives at 516-573-6353.

All calls will remain confidential.

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