MINNEAPOLIS — A man with a lengthy record of violent criminal offenses was sentenced to nearly 26 years in prison Monday for the sexual assault of an elderly woman in St. Louis Park last November.
Jeffrey Morgan Groves received a sentence of 309 months, or 25 years and 9 months behind bars when he appeared in Hennepin County Court. A judge credited him with 314 days served in jail, making the total about 25 years.
Prosecutors say Groves broke into an elderly woman's home in St. Louis Park on Nov. 3, 2019, a woman he had once worked for as a handyman. They say he raped her multiple times, then forced his victim to go with him to two ATMs to withdraw cash.
At one point during the night, Groves untied her and took off a pillow case that was over her head, and she recognized him as a former handyman," according to the criminal complaint. Groves "was smoking what he said was methamphetamine," according to the complaint.
Prosecutors say Groves returned the woman to her home in the morning hours and went inside with her, "telling her he needed a drink." He drank some wine in her home and then collected all of her bedding, the wine bottle and glass he had been drinking from and left her home, prosecutors say.
Ten days after the sexual assault in St. Louis Park police tried to pull Groves over on a traffic violation and he fled, leading authorities on a dangerous pursuit that wound through the east metro and into Wisconsin, where Groves finally crashed his truck.
At times during that pursuit Groves was driving the wrong way down crowded highways and interstates, putting dozens, if not hundreds of lives at risk.
In February of 2020 KARE 11 Investigates reported a series of breaks Grove was given by judges during sentencings for a number of violent crimes that could had landed him in prison. Instead of being given prison time, as state sentencing guidelines called for, he was repeatedly given local jail sentences or probation on the promise he would remain law-abiding.
Records uncovered by KARE 11 show Groves was convicted of felony Receiving Stolen Property in the summer of 2019. If his probation had been revoked immediately he would have gone to prison, and would have been locked up before he sexually assaulted the elderly St. Louis Park woman and led police on a chase that endangered many lives.