Tonawanda News — LOCKPORT — David J. Grover, charged with abducting and molesting a 5-year-old North Tonawanda girl last year, wept openly as he pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court.
Grover, 35, who was living on Niagara Falls Boulevard in the town at the time of his arrest, faces up to 25 years in prison after accepting a plea deal from prosecutors to a single count of kidnapping as a sexually motivated felony, though lawyers in the case indicated he wasn't likely to receive the full sentence.
In pleading guilty, Grover — who has a bizarre criminal sexual history — admitted he tricked the girl's mother, a friend he was visiting, into leaving her North Tonawanda home in the middle of the night to pick up a mutual friend who needed a ride. With the mother gone, Grover took the girl from her bed and brought her to a wooded area where he molested her.
"He had her for about five or six hours," Assistant District Attorney Holly Sloma said.
Grover brought the girl back to her father's home in the City of Tonawanda in the morning and was arrested after the victim confided in her mother, who called police later that day.
As part of the disposition, which Sloma and fellow prosecutor Robert Zucco worked on with the victim's family, Grover will serve 15 years in prison and have 25 years of post-release supervision. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas will sentence Grover April 30.
"We as a family are just glad it's over," the victim's father said following Grover's guilty plea Thursday. The family is also glad that when Grover is released, he will be forced to register as a sex offender — a result of the felony being classified as sexually motivated.
The victim's great-grandmother said the sex offender registration was important to the family to make sure "he can't hurt anyone else."