Soldier pleads not guilty to child cruelty charges

A man accused of abusing a 10-year-old boy over the Christmas holidays pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree cruelty to children during a Recorder's Court hearing today.

Spc. William C. Robinson, who is assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, was arrested on post Wednesday after police investigated injuries to the boy at a Columbus apartment complex. Judge Michael Cielinski ordered Robinson, 27, held on bonds totaling $45,000 in the Muscogee County Jail and bound all charges over to Muscogee Superior Court.

Columbus police detective Richard Campbell told the judge the charges stemmed from three separate occasions during the holidays when the child sustained injuries to his left eye, right eye and groin area. The detective presented pictures to the judge of the boy with bruises and swelling around the eyes and black and blue bruising in the groin.

In interviews with the boy's mother, Campbell said the boy was abused because Robinson was upset the child was taking time away from him seeing his 4-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. Robinson is not the father of the boy but met his mother, also a soldier, while the two served in Afghanistan.