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Mobster Pleads Innocent to Sperm Smuggling

January 14, 2003

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ A New York mobster and his wife have pleaded innocent to allegedly conspiring to smuggle his sperm out of a central Pennsylvania prison to impregnate her.

Kevin Granato, 42, a convicted hit man for the Colombo crime family, came under suspicion after he was seen in the visitation room at the Allenwood Federal Prison showing off a toddler he called his child, even though he had been in jail since 1988 and did not have conjugal visits. The baby girl is now 3 years old.

A federal grand jury in November indicted Granato and his wife, Regina Granato of New York City, on charges of conspiracy to bribe prison employees and aiding and abetting bribery. Regina Granato is also charged with providing a prohibited object _ a cryogenic sperm kit _ to an inmate.

Regina Granato faces up to six years in prison if convicted. Her husband, whose current prison sentence for racketeering and murder runs until 2012, could get another 35 years.

Mob associate Antonio Parlavecchio and his wife, Maria, were indicted on similar charges in December 2000.

Granato attorney Richard A. Rehbock said the family hopes to prove in court that there was no crime committed and that no prison employees were used to smuggle sperm. He maintained that although there were no conjugal visits, no contraband was involved in the conception. He would not elaborate.

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