Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A Niagara County grand jury has added first-degree sex abuse to the list of charges against a Town of Tonawanda man arrested last month for kidnapping and abusing a five-year-old girl.
David J. Grover, 34, was arrested July 28 at the girl’s father’s house in the City of Tonawanda, hours after taking the child from a separate address in North Tonawanda where her mother lives. Prosecutors say he is a longtime acquaintance of both parents.
He was arrested and charged the same day with second-degree kidnapping with a sexual motivation and endangering the welfare of a child.
The arrest came just hours after the abduction, wherein Grover reportedly tricked the five-year-old’s mother into leaving her North Tonawanda home before taking the girl to a wooded area and subsequently the second address where the victim’s father resides separately.
“He expected it to be empty,” Assistant District Attorney Robert Zucco told Niagara County Court Judge Sara Farkas Thursday during Grover’s arraignment.
Grover entered a plea of not guilty and was formally charged on Thursday with committing a sexually motivated felony, first-degree sex abuse and second-degree kidnapping.
Zucco said Grover was found at the father’s Tonawanda home, barricaded inside a bathroom where he reportedly had taken a shower.
He said that was after Grover took the girl to a “secluded” wooded area where the abuse allegedly took place, sometime during the roughly six hours the two were together, as the girl’s mother attempted to locate the pair rather than immediately calling police.
He said it’s not clear yet whether the actual abuse took place in Erie or Niagara County.
“During the period of time he has the child with him, he sexually abuses the child,” Zucco said.
Grover’s attorney, public defender Christopher Privateer, had asked for reasonable bail to be set for his client, after Zucco requested any such bail be a minimum of $1 million.