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Cop accused of raping baby girl tried blaming dog for her injuries, PA officials say

Miami Herald

A Pennsylvania police officer accused of raping a 13-month-old girl tried blaming the family dog for her injuries, investigators told news outlets.

Steven Kyle Cugini, a 28-year-old officer with the York City Police Department, was arrested April 16 by Pennsylvania State Police, the department said in a news release.

The investigation began after officers received a report of an infant with “severe bruising,” police said. The baby was taken to an area hospital and officers said they learned her injuries went far beyond bruising.

“The investigation determined that the victim suffered broken bones … and was the victim of sexual violence,” the release said, with evidence pointing them toward Cugini.

When interviewed by officers, Cugini denied abusing the girl, according to court documents obtained by WHP

Instead, he’s accused of saying her injuries were caused by the family dog, from falling and from diaper rash, the station reported.

The girl’s mother initially provided the same “implausible explanations,” but later told investigators that Cugini had locked himself in a bathroom with the baby and she heard “crying and loud noises” coming from inside, WHTM reported.

State police found text messages from Cugini indicating that he caused the bruising, the station reported. And he admitted to investigators that the girl’s injuries were his doing, according to police.

In a statement, York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow said he is aware of the accusations against one of his officers, and has suspended Cugini.

“As everyone knows, I will always be the first to fight and advocate for our people,” he said. “And if these allegations are founded, trust and believe I’ll be the first to take swift and definitive action against them.”

Cugini was jailed on a charge of raping a child under 13 years of age, and his bond is set at $200,000, jail records show.

York City is a roughly 100-mile drive west of Philadelphia.

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