A 38-year-old Massachusetts man accused of impregnating an 11-year-old girl has denied raping the child, and instead suggested that she might have become pregnant by having sex with him as he slept.
Justin Armstrong, of Springfield, was ordered held on bail after pleading not guilty Monday to forcible child rape.
His defense lawyer said he denies the allegations, is cooperating with investigators and voluntarily submitted a DNA sample for testing.
Prosecutors say Armstrong initially told police the girl said she had been abused by a younger relative. But when he heard she was four months pregnant, they say Armstrong raised the possibility that she raped him while he slept, reported The Springfield Republican.
Armstrong was arrested on Friday, two weeks after the victim broke her silence and revealed the alleged abuse to a friend of her mother’s. The girl has not been named due to her age and the sexual nature of the crime.
When interviewed by police, the child claimed that the 38-year-old man had molested her for 18 months, and that the abuse involved various sex acts.
According to the girl, Armstrong had told her on multiple occasions that if she spoke up, he would get arrested.
The girl’s pregnancy was confirmed by doctors on or around July 9, and then aborted. Results of DNA testing performed on the fetal tissue are pending.
Armstrong’s defense attorney on Monday asked a judge to set his bail at $3,000, arguing that he grew up in the Springfield area, has no past criminal record and is not a flight risk.
The judge was not swayed by the lawyer’s arguments and set his bail at $50,000.
Armstrong was also prohibited from making any contact with the victim. He is due back in court on August 4.