An upstate New York man claims an 11-year-old girl who recently gave birth to his baby got pregnant through semen that was left on his clothing, not through sexual assault.
Robert Cronin, 33, of Niskayuna pleaded not guilty in on Wednesday to predatory sexual assault against a child, the Times Union in Albany reports.
A DNA test has confirmed that he is the father of the girl’s baby, WTEN in Albany reports. Cronin doesn’t dispute he is the dad, but he is disputing how the preteen got pregnant.
"I don't want to be known for a crime I didn't commit," he told WRGB-TV in Albany.
According to that report, Cronin lives with his fiancée and their 5 children. Though it is not clear what his relationship is with the alleged victim, she is reportedly someone known to him.
He told WTEN that the girl must have gotten pregnant after putting on a piece of clothing that he used to masturbate with.
Cronin admitted to the station that his defense is hard to believe, answering yes when a reporter asked, "Do you understand why it would be hard for people to understand the reasoning behind this conception that you're offering?"
The alleged abuse is believed to have occurred in either February or March of 2018. Officials were tipped off through a child abuse hotline call about two months ago. Cronin was arrested on Monday.
Both the girl and her baby are in the care of Child Protective Services.
Predatory sexual assault against a child is the most serious sex crime charge under New York State law. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years to life in state prison.
Cronin does not appear to have any prior criminal record.
[Photo: Niskayuna Police Department]
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