HOWELL (WWJ/AP) - A former Detroit Lions prospect who authorities say abducted his son and took him to South Dakota without the approval of the boy’s mother has been sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Mark Grabowski, of Livingston County’s Hartland Township, was sentenced Thursday in 53rd Circuit Court in Howell. Grabowski, 53, earlier pleaded guilty to unlawful retention of a child by a parent.
Grabowski told the court that he took his son Connor to protect him. But Judge David Reader told Grabowski: “What you did was just wrong.”
It was in August when Grabowski failed to return the boy to his mother after a weekend visit. The next time the child was seen was on a YouTube video, claiming he wasn’t kidnapped and he wanted to start a new life with his dad.
“The reason I left was because I was tired of dealing with the same things with my mom, most everyday, because she’s abusing me mentally and physically,” Conner said in the video, which has been viewed over 20,000 times.
The FBI found the boy safe a month later at a ranch in Platte, South Dakota after being taken on a six state sojourn by his father, who was taken into custody without incident.
Grabowski, who was waived from the Detroit Lions roster in 1982, has been locked in a custody battle over his son in Macomb County since 2001.
TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.