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Man with tragic past sentenced in girl's rape

ALBANY -- A man who was a poster child for victimized children has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for raping a 10-year-old girl.

Adam Croote -- whose own childhood was so wrenching that he was invited to the White House at age 7 as a symbol of the plight of missing children -- was sentenced Friday, the Times Union reported.

Croote, 23, pleaded guilty in March to attacking a child he was baby-sitting.

The girl's family knew Croote was a registered sex offender before the assault last June at a home in Berne, near Albany, the newspaper said, citing court documents. But the relatives nonetheless asked Croote to watch the child after school one afternoon, authorities said, adding that the child managed to escape as he tried to strangle her.

When he was 2, Croote's father killed his pregnant mother and left him alone with her body in Hinesville, Ga.

Two years later, his maternal grandparents abducted him during a custody fight. His face was on missing-child fliers for three years until they were captured.

In 1996, Croote and his paternal grandmother went to the White House to see President Bill Clinton sign a policy to put missing-children posters in federal buildings.As a teen, Croote was convicted of sexually assaulting an instructor at a home for troubled young people in Wendell, Mass.

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