Indian-American becomes Acting United States Attorney in Ohio

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Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Vipal J. Patel who took over his new position March 1, 2021. Photo: Twitter SDOHNEWS

Former First Assistant United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel is now the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio includes 67 Assistant United States Attorneys and 51 non-attorney personnel. They serve the southern 48 counties in the state, including the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas, a March 1, 2021 press release noted.

“These are huge shoes to fill, and I am humbled and honored to fill them,” Patel is quoted saying in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio. “The important work of the public servants in this Office – and their dedication to justice – continues. Our casework will persist uninterrupted,” Patel added.

A longtime resident of Dayton, Patel, 53, became an Assistant United States Attorney in 2000. He has served in U.S. Attorney Office criminal, civil and appellate divisions.

Patel was named First Assistant United States Attorney in April 2016 under former U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman and was retained in that position by fellow former U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, according to details of his bio in the press release.

Prior to his time as First Assistant, Patel served the district as a Deputy Criminal Chief and as the district’s Criminal Chief, filling management roles under both Republican- and Democrat-appointed U.S. Attorneys and Attorneys General.

In 2011, he spent a year in Afghanistan, on an anti-corruption and counter-narcotics assignment as a U.S. Department of Justice civilian advisor.

Patel was the lead prosecutor in the first ever international terrorism trial in the Southern District of Ohio in 2018, both prosecuting the case and successfully arguing its appeal.

He also represented the United States in the prosecution of weapons-related charges against a friend of the August 2019 Dayton mass shooter.

In other significant casework, Patel prosecuted a local child exploiter who abused an infant, young child, and numerous teenage girls. The defendant was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison.

Patel received his law degree in 1991 from the George Washington University Law School. He currently serves as an evaluator of other United States Attorney’s Offices, teaches at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, in Columbia, South Carolina, and has taught abroad as part of DOJ’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training program.

Since 2008, Patel has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton Law School.

Patel immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1970 and became a naturalized citizen in 1981. He and his wife have two children and live in downtown Dayton.

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