A man accused of raping and impregnating an 11-year-old girl claims she may have raped him when he was sleeping. Justin Armstrong, 38, of Springfield, Massachusetts appeared in court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty to forcible child rape. Prosecutors charged him when it was discovered that the child was four months pregnant
He was arrested Friday, two weeks after tests showed the girl was pregnant. Prosecutors say the girl told officers she was molested by Armstrong for 18 months before eventually confiding in one of her mother’s friends. Armstrong initially told police that the little girl had told him she had been abused by a relative, according to the Republican newspaper.
Armstrong made the sleeping claim when the defendant was told that the youngster was pregnant Assistant District Attorney Jill O’Connor said.
The child underwent an abortion, and the fetal tissue is being DNA tested.
Armstrong has voluntarily submitted a DNA sample and is cooperating with police, his lawyer Anna-Marie Puryear said.
The case, Puryear said, hinges on the outcome of the DNA testing and setting high bail would effectively be jailing Armstrong without proof of wrongdoing. Armstrong has no criminal record and poses no risk of flight, Puryear said.
Judge Robert Murphy set bail at $50,000 and ordered Armstrong to stay away from the victim and her home. Armstrong is due back for a pretrial hearing on Aug. 24.