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Grandfather of dead toddler pleads guilty to child porn charges

Daniel McGrath to be sentenced in September
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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A Roseville man whose family has been at the center of two separate criminal investigations ended half of the intrigue this week by pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.

While the child porn case may be closing on 58-year-old Dan McGrath, the child death investigation against his daughter, Denise McGrath-Wilder, is still floating in legal limbo after new attorneys recently signed on to the case.

Both criminal investigations link back to the night of April 4, 2012, when Roseville police officers found Denise McGrath-Wilder’s baby daughter, McKinley, dead inside the McGrath family home in Roseville — allegedly from alcohol poisoning and extreme malnutrition. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office eventually charged the child’s mother with felony child abuse, with a special allegation of producing circumstances likely to cause death.  

Though Dan McGrath and his wife were reportedly away on a trip when McKinley died, Roseville police detectives investigating the case served a warrant on all computers in the McGrath home and discovered more than 3,000 images and videos of child pornography. He was charged with possession of child pornography in U.S. Federal Court. 

“These images and videos were contained on the disconnected computer hard drive, as well as on multiple CDs created by McGrath,” said Lauren Horwood of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Some of these images and videos showed prepubescent children, sadistic and masochistic conduct and infants.”

McGrath initially pleaded not guilty to the charge. Several attorneys worked on his case, beginning with Mark Riechel and then downtown Roseville attorney Tim Balcom. McGrath fired both lawyers, despite the fact that Balcom had gotten him released from federal custody after the West Sacramento Police Department arrested McGrath in August for allegedly stalking the girlfriend of his daughter’s ex-husband, Mark Wilder.

McGrath’s current attorney is Kresta Daly.

Having entered a guilty plea, McGrath is scheduled to be sentenced in September. He could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

Denise McGrath-Wilder remains in custody for the charges around the death of her daughter. Last week, she parted ways with the attorney who had been handling her case for nearly a year, Jess Bedore III.

Bedore told The Press Tribune that the change in lawyers could set any major developments in the case back at least 8 months.

Scott Thomas Anderson can be reached at scotta@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at ScottA_RsvPT.