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Appellate court rejects Clayton man’s claim prison sentence for sexual contact case is too harsh

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CLAYTON — A state appellate court has rejected a town of Clayton man’s claim that a nine-year prison sentence he is serving for having sexual contact with a child is too harsh.

Christopher E. Robinson, 35, is serving the sentence at Attica Correctional Facility after pleading guilty April 12, 2013, in Jefferson County Court to first-degree rape and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He admitted he had sexual contact with the girl sometime from June to September 2011. He also admitted he engaged in sexual activity in the presence of a 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl.

At the time of his June 7, 2013, sentencing, he told Judge Kim H. Martusewicz that he took responsibility for the act and apologized for it, but said he felt the expected sentence was “unfair” as the act was a one-time incident.

“I know this should not have happened at all,” he told the judge. “I was used as a pawn in someone else’s sick games and now I’m being used as a scapegoat.”

In addition to the prison term, Robinson was ordered to undergo an additional 11 years of supervision upon his release from prison and register with the state as a sex offender.

He appealed the sentence to the state Appellate Court, Fourth Department, which has concluded that the sentence was not unduly harsh or severe.

Tracy L. Cantwell, 27, also of Clayton, pleaded guilty in March 2013 to first-degree attempted criminal sex act in connection with the incident involving Robinson. She also pleaded guilty in May 2013 to third-degree burglary, admitting she entered the Jreck Subs shop in Clayton in March 2013 with the intent to steal money. She was sentenced in May 2013 to six years in prison, followed by 10 years’ post-release supervision. She also was ordered to register with the state as a sex offender. She is serving her sentence at Albion Correctional Facility.

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