A man who had such a horrible childhood that he was invited to the White House as a symbol of young victims will now go to prison for trying to kill a 10-year-old girl.
Adam Croote, 23, of Albany, New York, was sentenced on Friday to at least 25 years behind bars for raping and choking the girl he had been babysitting.
As a child, Croote was a poster child for missing children, which led him to meet President Bill Clinton in 1996 at age seven.
Sentenced: Adam Croote, who had a rough childhood of his own, will spend at least 25 years in prison as an adult for raping and choking a girl, 10
Now as an adult, the man had pleaded guilty to charges for the attack against the girl last June at a home in Berne, near Albany, the Times Union reported.
The girl and her family were not identified.
Croote had already been a registered sex offender before the assault on the 10-year-old, according to the newspaper.
The girl’s family were aware of Croote’s background when they asked him to watch the child after school one afternoon, authorities said.
She managed to escape as he tried to strangle her, according to police.
The events come after Croote survived his own devastating childhood.
When he was two, his father, Michael Croote, killed his pregnant mother after she told him that she was in love with her father-in-law, the newspaper reported.
The father, who is now serving a life sentence for the murder, had left the boy alone with the dead body in Hinesville, Georgia.
His mother, Wendy, was pregnant at the time of her death.
Symbol: After growing up in difficult situations, Croote was invited at age seven to meet President Bill Clinton (left front) as a poster child for missing children
Two years later, his maternal grandparents abducted him during a custody fight.
It provoked a national search. Croote’s face was on missing-child fliers for three years.
A staff member at a school he attended noticed the boy on a flier, according to the Times Union.
The grandparents were captured, living under assumed names. They pleaded guilty to charges and were sentenced to probation, the newspaper reported.
Croote then went to live with his paternal grandmother, Linda Koerner.
Around that time, the two went to the White House to see Mr Clinton sign a policy to put missing-children posters in federal buildings.
A photo of his visit shows the small boy, with his grandmother’s arm wrapped around him, standing near Mr Clinton’s side as the president writes.
As a teen, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman who worked at a home for troubled young people in Wendell, Massachusetts.
The instructor had been driving him to school from a doctor’s appointment, the newspaper reported.
He took control of the vehicle and crashed it into a stone wall.
Croote was later labeled a sex offender when he was convicted of forcible sexual contact from the incident.
He returned to the Albany area five years ago and was arrested about two years later when he failed to register as a convicted sex offender, authorities said. He later registered.
‘Since he was a sex offender, we knew who he was, what he was, where he was,’ Albany County Under Sheriff Craig Apple said after Croote was arrested in the attack on the 10-year-old girl. ‘We just prayed that he didn’t re-offend. There is only so much we can do.’
In the latest incident, Croote was charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, forcible touching and other crimes.