Man found guilty in Menards kidnapping case in South Dakota

January 7, 2022 GMT

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) — The man accused of trying to kidnap a child while he was working at the Menards in Watertown has been convicted by a jury.

Peter Groenhoff, 39, of Canby, Minnesota was found guilty of second-degree kidnapping Thursday, KSFY-TV reported.

The charges stem from an incident in May of 2018. Prosecutors say Groenhoff was working at Menards when he picked up a 4-year-old child and quickly walked away from the youngster’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 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.