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Michael Scaringe. Photo: NY State Police
Michael Scaringe. Photo: NY State Police

BREAKING: Scaringe found guilty by Franklin County jury

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UPDATE: Chris Knight reports from Malone that a jury found Michael Scaringe guilty of having sex with a 13-year-old girl at his home in Saranac Lake in December 2009.

The verdict came in just after 2 pm.

He was 61 at the time and was the director of a local youth center. That's where he met the girl.

Chris Knight will have more on this story Thursday morning during the 8 O'clock Hour.

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Reported by

Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

Scaringe faces charges of second-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. His arrest sparked a public outcry when it was first reported, as Scaringe had been director of the Saranac Lake Youth Center and was working as a substitute teacher at the time. Now, two and a half years later, the jury will have to decide whether the alleged victim in the case, who initially lied to police and said she was forcibly raped by Scaringe, is telling the truth.

Scaringe’s lawyer, Mary Rain, has highlighted numerous inconsistencies in the girl’s story about everything from how long the sex took place to what Scaringe looked like with his clothes off. She’s also said the timeline of the girl's account doesn’t add up and that she adjusted her story to fit the case police built against Scaringe.

The prosecution has dubbed Scaringe a "child sexual predator" who groomed an at-risk girl, bought gifts for her, isolated her and manipulated other people in her life. In his closing statement Tuesday, Franklin County Chief Assistant District Attorney Jack Delehanty said the girl’s initial lies about what had happened were part of a “naturally flowing” disclosure that’s common for children who are victims of child sex abuse. He referred frequently to testimony from an expert child psychologist brought in by the prosecution.

Scaringe didn’t take the stand. Among the handful of witnesses who testified in his defense was a prominent Essex County and acting State Supreme Court judge, Richard Meyer, who described himself as a friend of Scaringe’s going back to the 1970s.

The jury’s deliberations were scheduled to resume at 8:30 this morning.

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