Prosecutors drop assault case against ‘affectionate’ Santa

A Clifton man who worked seasonally as a Santa Claus and had been accused of molesting a teenage girl in his home had his case dismissed by prosecutors on Monday.

Robert Melvin Cross, 58, had been arrested on a warrant in late 2011 on suspicion of sexual assault on a child.

According to his arrest affidavit, Cross was under investigation for allegedly kissing a 14-year-old girl on the mouth and breasts at his home in June or July of that year.

In a formal interview with an investigator, Cross initially denied kissing her, but later said he may have and denied there was ever any sexual contact between the two, the affidavit said. He agreed to a polygraph examination, which produced inconclusive results, the affidavit said.

In a recorded phone call conversation involving Cross and the alleged victim, Cross allegedly acknowledged that he was “trying to be affectionate and nice,” the affidavit said.


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