Dennis Gribble

Dennis Gribble, 72, was arraigned on November 29, 2022, for the August 8, 1997 rape of a 9-year-old boy in Brooklyn, Ohio. Gribbel approached the boy, telling him that his son needed help. He then led the boy into the woods, where he forced him on his stomach and sexually assaulted him.

A DNA profile of the suspect was taken from a sexual assault kit. There were no matches in CODIS, and the suspect was indicted as “John Doe #147 in order to prevent the statute of limitations from expiring.

The FIGG investigation was conducted by Barbara Rae-Venter of Firebird Forensics in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and its G.O.L.D. (Genetic Operations Linking DNA) Team.

Gribble is facing charges of rape in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He was released on home arrest with GPS monitoring.

Gribble pled guilty to first-degree rape and was sentenced on May 4, 2023, to 10 years in prison, which was the maximum prison term for this offence at the time it was committed. Gribble admitted at his sentencing hearing that he has been sexually assaulting children for his entire adult life, and that he “just can’t help it.”

Gribble has prior convictions for sexually assaulting children between the ages of 9 and 12, and that took place between 1969 and 1972. He spent 14 years in prison and was released in 1988. His attorney stated that he was sent to a boarding school in New Jersey where he was molested and abused by the staff.


Bingel, Julia. “72-Year-Old Man Now Charged with 1997 Rape of Brooklyn Child.” Cleveland 19 News, November 29, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor. “Genetic Genealogy Leads to Suspect in 1997 Rape of 9-Year-Old Boy.” Forensic Magazine, November 30, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.

Gallek, Peggy. “DNA Leads to Arrest of Suspected Child Rapist 25 Years Later: I-Team.” WDTN News 2, November 30, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.

Shaffer, Cory. “Serial Child Rapist Gets 10 Years in Prison for Attacking Boy in 1997; Authorities Used DNA, Golden State Killer Genealogist to Solve Case.”, May 4, 2023. Accessed May 17, 2023.


First Name Dennis
Last Name Gribble
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2022-11-29
IGG Org Barbara Rae-Venter; Firebird


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1796 n/a John Doe 9 1997-08-08 Brooklyn, OH Cuyahoha CO GOLD; SAK TF All sexual offenses, including rape, sexual assault, and child molestation Guilty plea entered by defendant Cuyahoga CT COM PL

Last updated: February 13, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.