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Crime & Courts

Man charged in Prairie Path attack near Wheaton pleads guilty

Attack happened in April

Matthew Grover, 32, of the 26W600 block of Lindsey Avenue near Winfield, pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to aggravated battery in a public place after being charged with an attack on a woman while she was walking April 24 on the Illinois Prairie Path near Wheaton  He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Matthew Grover, 32, of the 26W600 block of Lindsey Avenue near Winfield, pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to aggravated battery in a public place after being charged with an attack on a woman while she was walking April 24 on the Illinois Prairie Path near Wheaton He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

WHEATON – A 32-year-old man and former Bartlett gymnastics coach charged with an attack on a woman while she was walking April 24 on the Illinois Prairie Path near Wheaton has pleaded guilty.

Matthew Grover of the 26W600 block of Lindsey Avenue near Winfield pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to aggravated battery in a public place. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

He has been held in the DuPage County Jail on a $200,000 bond since his arrest in April.

The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. April 24. The woman was on the path between County Farm and Pleasant Hill roads, north of the intersection of Peter and Churchill roads, according to the DuPage County Sheriff's Office. The suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her.

The victim was able to escape unharmed.

Grover confessed to the attack, according to a past news release from the Sheriff's Office. Detectives learned early on that Grover was a possible suspect and placed him under immediate surveillance while they continued to gather evidence.

Grover matched the description provided by the victim. One of his family members also owns the same make, model and color vehicle, a 2006 blue Toyota Sienna minivan, as detectives discovered soon after the attack was the probable vehicle used by Grover to flee the area, the release stated.

In addition, when confronted with the facts of a similar attack investigated by the Sheriff’s Office in late September 2016, Grover confessed to being the assailant in that attack as well, according to the release.

Grover had been employed at Bartlett Gymnastics Center in Bartlett. In a statement previously emailed to parents, the owners said Grover no longer works there.

"Please note this incident and arrest was unrelated to Bartlett Gymnastics," the April statement read. "However, he is no longer employed by Bartlett and is not allowed on the premises. Please be assured that safety is the number one priority at Bartlett. Our facility has completely open viewing where parents watch classes and practice, and the premises is under video surveillance."

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