MAYS LANDING — A suspended Atlantic City fire captain accused of sexually assaulting a teenage baby sitter years ago testified Wednesday that his work schedule made it impossible for him to ever have been alone with her.
Roderick Knox, 47, of Egg Harbor Township, is accused of molesting the girl — identified in court records as S.W. — in 1995, when she was 13 years old and a neighbor of the Knoxes in Hamilton Township.
The now-30-year-old woman testified earlier this week that she didn't want to cause another family problems when she denied the assaults in 1997, when another man who abused her made allegations against Knox.
She was questioned again in 2010, when detectives were investigating a second claim of abuse made by Knox's then-15-year-old foster daughter. It was during that questioning at her home in North Carolina, S.W. testified Monday, that she decided it was time to tell the whole story.
A jury acquitted Knox in the case involving his foster daughter last year.
When defense attorney Stephen Funk asked Knox about S.W.’s allegations Wednesday, he vehemently denied them.
"Never ever. Absolutely, positively not," Knox said. "I don't do babies. I have babies."
The defense presented a calendar Knox recently made showing his work schedule in July 1995, when the abuse allegedly occurred.
It included his firehouse schedule along with his work at Trump Taj Mahal and training with Eastern Financial. He said it didn't include his training as a boxer, which he said took five days a week.
Knox said that he did get a warning letter July 25, 1995, for calling out sick at the Fire Department. He said they are given after three call-outs on consecutive holidays or weekend days.
During cross-examination by Assistant Prosecutor John Flammer, Knox said he didn't recall which days he called out, but he said that the letter being dated in July would have meant the call-outs were in the prior month.
Flammer also questioned him about testimony he gave saying other firefighters could fill in for an hour or two during a shift, if it was needed. Knox said he could not recall which times those would have been.
Also in court Wednesday, jurors heard from several character witnesses who testified as to Knox being well-respected and truthful, including Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small and a few members of the city's police and fire departments.
Closing arguments are expected to begin Thursday morning, and then the jury will be given its instructions.
The jurors have not been informed of the other charges made against Knox or the acquittal. They only know that the case was reopened during investigation into an unrelated matter.
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