Tonawanda News — LOCKPORT — A Tonawanda man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday in Niagara County Court on a single count of kidnapping as a sexually motivated felony after abducting a 5-year-old girl from her North Tonawanda home in July.
David J. Grover, 35, admitted in February to taking the young victim from her home for more than five hours last summer after police said he tricked her mother into leaving the house in the early morning hours.
Grover then sexual abused the girl in a nearby patch of woods before the authorities discovered he and the victim hours later at the girl’s father’s house in the City of Tonawanda.
The victim’s mother, who addressed the court before Grover was sentenced by Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, said it was a relief for her see the longtime family friend head to prison.
“You may think you have fooled a lot of people,” she said. “You are obviously a disturbed individual.”
Grover, who was convicted in 2004 and 2007 on respective burglary and kidnapping charges, one involving another young girl who was kidnapped, had initially pleaded not guilty in August to first-degree sexual assault, second-degree kidnapping and committing a sexually motivated felony.
But with the prospect of a lengthy trial ahead and in an effort the spare the victim from the possibility of testifying, the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office — which would have likely have been permitted to submit some or all of the evidence from the previous convictions if a trial ensued — offered Grover a plea deal that on top of the 15-year sentence also includes 25 years post-release supervision and required registry as a sex offender.
Assistant District Attorney Holly Sloma, who said she has seen Grover in court three times during her 14-year career for incidents involving sexual malfeasance with young girls, chastised him for taking advantage of his history with the victim and her family.