Contradicting previous media reports, Justin DiPietro, father of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds, said he arrived for his court hearing Thursday on time, pleading not guilty to domestic violence assault.

“I was there at 8:30,” DiPietro said over the phone Thursday night. “I did what I needed to do.”

DiPietro initially didn’t arrive for his 8:30 a.m. appearance in Cumberland County Superior Court until 10 a.m., which led to the threat of an arrest warrant, according to a court clerk.

DiPietro, however, said he arrived on time.

“I don’t think that’s true,” he said, referring to his late arrival time.

DiPietro, who said he’s “living in his mom’s basement,” is “trying to live a normal life.”

DiPietro also said while he lives at 29 Viollette Ave. in Waterville, he spends most of his time in Portland.

A state police spokesman said Thursday the assault charge is “completely unrelated” to the police probe into what happened to Ayla, which authorities have called the biggest criminal investigation in the state’s history.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said that Maine State Police have not made contact with Dipietro and state police had nothing to do with the case involving DiPietro’s assault charge in Portland on July 6, when he allegedly grabbed and pushed former girlfriend Courtney Roberts while the two were arguing.

Roberts was one of three adults — including DiPietro and his sister, Elisha — who police say were in the Waterville home when Ayla was reported missing.

“I don’t think we’ve had any contact with Justin in some time,” McCausland said Thursday.

No one answered the door Thursday morning at the Violette Avenue home in Waterville where DiPietro lived at the time of Ayla’s disappearance. The home belongs to DiPietro’s mother, Phoebe.

His next court appearance is Sept. 25. DiPietro doesn’t have an attorney listed, but he can be assigned one at that time if needed.

The disappearance of Ayla remains unsolved after DiPietro called police on Dec. 17, 2011, to say she wasn’t in her room at his mother’s home in Waterville. She was last seen the night before.

No one has been charged in connection with Ayla’s disappearance, but police have said that they do not believe the three adults who were present when the toddler disappeared have told authorities everything they know.

Police say they do not believe Ayla is alive and have said for months that there have been no new developments in the case.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239
[email protected]

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