CLEVELAND (WJW) – A child rapist is finally brought to justice, thanks to cutting edge DNA technology and a victim that would not give up.
On Thursday, Dennis Gribble was sentenced in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to 10 years in prison after entering a guilty plea to a rape charge.
Prosecutors say he raped a 9-year-old boy in a wooded area in Brooklyn in August of 1997.
Prosecutors say the victim would always call and ask if anything new was being done on his case, and if law enforcement officials would be able to find his attacker with DNA.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office Genetic Operations Linking DNA Unit worked with several agencies, including the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, to track down the suspect.
The victim, who asked not to be identified, finally got the chance to confront Gribble.
“I stand here a 35-year-old man who has waited 26 years for this day to come,” the victim said during the sentencing hearing. “At 9-years-old, I was kidnapped, raped and threatened that I would be killed by the monster sitting in this courtroom. Even with all you caused me mentally, emotionally, and physically, I am not your victim anymore.”
Gribble apologized to the victim. The attorney told the court that Gribble was molested as a child.
“All I have to say is I am sorry for what I’ve done,” Gribble said. “I couldn’t control myself. I have been doing it for my entire life. I tried to get help and no one would give it to me. Even in prison I tried to get help and they wouldn’t give it me.”
Judge Timothy McCormick said he wished he could sentence Gribble to more time behind bars.
“The only way the public can be protected is for you to spend as much time in prison as I can give you,” McCormick said.
The prosecutor noted that Gribble had prior convictions for sexually assaulting children. He said if there are any more victims, they should contact the prosecutor’s office at 216-443-7800.