WHEATON – A 32-year-old man and former Bartlett gymnastics coach charged with attacking two women on separate occasions on the Illinois Prairie Path has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Matthew Grover, 32, of the 26W600 block of Lindsey Avenue near Winfield, appeared in court Jan. 26, where he entered a plea of guilty to two counts of aggravated battery in front of DuPage County Judge Brian Telander, who handed down the sentence. He has been held in the DuPage County Jail on a $200,000 bond since his arrest in April 2017.
At about 4 p.m. April 24, 2017, authorities received a call a woman had been attacked on the Illinois Prairie Path near Wheaton. In the attack, the man approached the woman from behind and put her in a “bear hug,” according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
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. Grover released the woman and fled when joggers approached from the opposite direction, the release stated.
An investigation into the attack uncovered a very similar incident near the same location on the Prairie Path that occurred in late September or early October 2016. The investigation into the two attacks ultimately led authorities to Grover, according to the release.
“DuPage County has one of the most beautiful public trail systems in the country enjoyed by thousands of people every year,” DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “Mr. Grover, however, took advantage of this natural asset to physically attack women."
Grover will be required to serve 50 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole, the release stated.