NEW YORK — The man charged with sexually assaulting and smothering 4-year-old "Baby Hope" in 1991 denied in a jailhouse interview that he killed the girl but admitted he helped dispose of the body.
Conrado Juarez told The New York Times that Anjelica Castillo died in a fall down the stairs.
The 52-year-old kitchen worker was arrested Oct. 11 on a charge of second-degree murder. Police said he confessed to assaulting the child and smothering her with a pillow to stifle her screams.
But Juarez told the newspaper his confession was coerced.
"That's the mess I find myself in," he said in the Wednesday interview at the Rikers Island jail complex.
He said he was resigned to spending the rest of his life in prison.
Juarez's lawyer, Michael Croce, declined to comment Friday on his client's remarks to the Times. Croce has questioned the legitimacy of the statements police said Juarez made after about 12 hours of interrogation.