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Man accused of kidnapping child at Watertown Menards convicted

Peter Groenhoff
Peter Groenhoff(Codington County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 11:27 AM CST
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WATERTOWN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The man accused of trying to kidnap a child while he was working at the Menards in Watertown has been convicted by a jury.

Thirty-nine-year-old Peter Groenhoff of Canby, Minn. was found guilty of second-degree kidnapping Thursday, Watertown Radio reports.

The charges stem from an incident on May 27, 2018. Prosecutors say Groenhoff was working at Menards when he picked up a four-year-old child and quickly walked away from the child’s family. The child’s father pursued Groenhoff and told him to stop, but Groenhoff continued on until he was caught in the employee break room. Police eventually arrived and arrested him.

Groenhoff testified in his own defense at his trial. The jury deliberated less than 90 minutes before delivering a guilty verdict.

“We are happy that we can finally give the victim and the family a sense of closure after all this time,” Deputy State’s Attorney Alison Bakken said.

A sentencing date has not been set. Groenhoff faces up to 15 years in prison.

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