Herman Robinson of Schenectady, accused of murdering the newborn he fathered with a girl, on Monday pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Schenectady County Court.
The bearded Robinson, dressed in an orange jumpsuit over a gray sweatshirt, answered Judge Karen A. Drago’s questions in low-voiced “Yes, ma’am” or “No, ma’am” answers. He stood, head slightly bowed and eyes unblinking, next to his attorney for the morning, Public Defender Mark J. Caruso.
Robinson, 38, is facing a multitude of felony charges. In addition to second-degree murder, he was arraigned on charges of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child; first-degree criminal sex act; two counts of first-degree rape; one count of second-degree rape; and predatory sexual assault against a child.
He also was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
The case was adjourned until May 22. Robinson, who if convicted faces a jail term of 25 years to life, is currently lodged in Schenectady County Jail. No bail has been set.
Robinson allegedly raped the young girl from 2006 — when she was 11 years old — through December 2013. Prosecutors have alleged Robinson helped the girl deliver the baby in March 2010 at Robinson’s then-residence on Albany Street. They said he was the only person with her at the time. Robinson allegedly killed the baby and disposed of the body.
Prosecutors said no one other than the girl and Robinson are believed to have known about the pregnancy or the birth and death of the baby.
Robinson was arrested last Dec. 13 after police and paramedics responded to a call for medical assistance at his Lenox Road home. Authorities began to gather information about the possible sexual abuse of a girl.
After the brief arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Christina Tremante had no comment for reporters gathered outside the courtroom. “Our office held a press conference last week,” she said. “We have nothing additional to say.”
Caruso also had no comment. During the proceeding, he said attorney Sven Paul would be handling the case for the Public Defender Office.
A woman who would only identify herself as a longtime friend of the family thought it was important that she appear in court.
“I wanted him to see my face, to show what he did … was really despicable,” she said. “How could you just do something like that?”
She described the young girl, now 19, as beautiful and strong. “At the end of the day, she’s still going to have to get counseling because she can’t carry this and not deal with this,” she said. “Although she’s made it through some adversities … she’s going to need some serious help with this.”