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updated: 1/10/2014 5:23 PM

Naperville man sentenced to 34 years for molesting 10-year-old boy

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  • Grant Gambaiani

      Grant Gambaiani

 
 

A Naperville man was sentenced Friday to 34 years in prison for molesting a 10-year-old boy left in his care.

Grant Gambaiani, 30, must serve 85 percent of the prison term before being eligible for parole.

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The boy's mother read an emotional victim-impact statement in court Friday in which she told DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin how Gambaiani robbed her son of his innocence and destroyed their family.

"Five years ago, Grant groomed, seduced and molested (my son)," she said. "We opened our home and hearts to (Gambaiani). He victimized our son in the worst possible way and still refuses to acknowledge the truth."

Gambaiani originally was convicted of the crime in 2010 and was serving a 43-year prison term in 2012 when he was granted a new trial on appeal. The Second District Appellate Court in Elgin ruled the earlier proceedings should have resulted in a mistrial because some evidence wasn't disclosed to the defense until testimony was well under way.

Prosecutors sought nine less years this time because Gambaiani was found innocent of a specific felony count during his second trial.

Gambaiani spoke for the first time Friday, asking Guerin for mercy and apologizing to his family for putting them "through this ordeal."

"I am taking every opportunity to grow into a better human being," he said, referencing the dozens of volunteer hours his attorneys said he has completed in various religious programs since being incarcerated.

Gambaiani did not have a prior criminal record. His mother died unexpectedly in April 2008, which defense attorneys said greatly affected him.

A second DuPage County jury deliberated about 3 hours in October before convicting him of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and 18 counts of various child pornography offenses.

Friday's sentencing is the result of allegations that Gambiani showed his victim images of child pornography from March 1, 2008, through June 6, 2008, and also took pornographic photos of the boy.

Prosecutors said Gambiani sexually assaulted his victim during that same period on numerous occasions.

"Time and time again, Mr. Gambiani sexually assaulted his 10 year-old victim to satisfy his deviant desires," said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin. "He stole this young boy's innocence, making him a victim of sexual assault and child pornography at the tender age of 10. He violated the trust placed in him by his victim's family. He violated the trust placed in him by the victim and he violated his victim in the worst possible way."

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