By Brandi Makuski
A Plover man is free on a $300 cash bond after being charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.
James Grider, 29, is charged with sexual assault of a child under 16, repeated sexual assault of a child, child pornography and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child. If convicted of the top counts, Grider faces more than 80 years behind bars.
According to the criminal complaint, Grider was arrested after the mother of a 15-year-old girl reviewed the contents of her daughter’s cellphone and reported finding sexually explicit texts between Grider and the girl. The girl’s mother reported the incident to police on Sept. 14.
The girl reportedly met Grider at Celebrate Plover through her best friend, a 16-year-old boy living with Grider who calls him “uncle”, according to the complaint.
Prior to talking with police, the mother confronted her daughter, who admitted to having sex with Grider since early August, according to the complaint. The girl later told police she was aware Grider was 29, and said she’d spend the night at Grider’s home “under a ruse that she is staying the night to hang out with [her 16-year-old male friend].”
The girl also told police she spent the night at Grider’s home “too many times to count,” and that they did not use a condom. According to the complaint, the 16-year-old boy living with Grider was in the living room playing video games while the girl and Grider were in Grider’s bedroom.
When police interviewed Grider, he said the two “had feelings for each other,” adding, “I know that’s really wrong.”
When specifically asked how far things went between Grider and the young girl, Grider replied, “As far as they could,” later admitting to the sexual relationship.
Grider also gave police permission to search the contents of his phone, during which they found topless photos of the girl — which Grider told police the girl sent him via Snapchat — along with “over 400 photos of nude women, who appear to be adults.”
Police also uncovered an audio file from Grider’s cell phone, which contains the voice of Grider and several other people talking while allegedly smoking marijuana. Grider admitted to smoking marijuana with both the girl and the 16-year-old boy.
The boy later told police he smoked marijuana with Grider “one-to-two times every other week.”
Grider is scheduled to make his initial appearance before Judge Robert Shannon on Oct. 3 at 1:30 PM.