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Man gets 25 to life for raping 10-year-old | Crime

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Man gets 25 to life for raping 10-year-old
Crime

ALBANY - Adam Croote was emotionless in Albany County Court Friday.  His victim's loved ones, however, were the exact opposite as they recounted the horror of the past ten months.  For themselves--but more importantly--for the now 11 year old at the center of this case.

"This little girl he attacked still believed in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and enjoyed life.   But on June 20th, 2011 Adam Croote left her for dead--beaten and bloody," explained the victim's grandmother during a victim impact statement.

When Croote was babysitting a ten year old girl last summer in the Town of Berne, he violently raped her and then tried to break her neck.  The young victim did not appear in court Friday but she did write a statement.

"What Adam did affected me in a lot of ways.  I can't sleep because I thought he was gonna come bursting through the door and try and hurt me again," read the victim's grandmother in court.

Croote has led a troubled life.  His father murdered his mother when he was two.  Two years after that, Adam's grandparents kidnapped him.  The case received so much attention that Adam was photographed with Bill Clinton as the then President signed an Executive Order in support of missing children.  Later, Croote stood alongside former Attorney General Janet Reno as she lauded the same law.  In 2000, when Adam was a student at Bethlehem Middle School, he sexually assaulted a girl and five years later he sexually assaulted a woman in Massachusetts.

"This case was a tragedy for all concerned. It's been additionally one more tragic even in Adam Croote's life," said Adam's public defender, James Milstein.

Judge Herrick acknowledged what he called Adam's "horrible childhood."  But, ultimately the past didn't matter and Adam Croote will be spending his future--25 years to life--in prison.

"I believe you are a sexual predator, a repeat sexual offender and an extreme threat to the safety of the community," added Judge Stephen Herrick during the sentencing.

Croote's victim was familiar with him but NewsChannel 13 is not releasing the relationship to protect her identity.

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