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A Franklin County sheriff's deputy puts Michael Scaringe Jr. into a police car after his sentencing Friday. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy <em>Adirondack Daily Enterprise</em>
A Franklin County sheriff's deputy puts Michael Scaringe Jr. into a police car after his sentencing Friday. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Michael Scaringe sentenced to seven years for rape of 13-year-old girl

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The former director of a youth center in Saranac Lake was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday. Michael Scaringe was arrested in January, 2010, on charges that he raped a then-13-year-old girl, whom he met through the youth center in December of 2009. At the time, Scaringe was 61.

His trial earlier this summer also included testimony from several women who claim Scaringe sexually abused them in the 1970s when he was a music teacher in the Tupper Lake Central School District.

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Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

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Scaringe was convicted of second-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child following a six-day jury trial in June. He faced between two and seven years behind bars.

In handing down the maximum sentence Friday, Judge Kathleen Rogers described Scaringe’s crime as "calculated" and said he worked "inch by inch" to gain the girl's trust: Giving her gifts, buying her a phone, taking her to cheerleading.

“He is a parent's worst nightmare” Rogers said, “someone in a position of authority who finds and cultivates a vulnerable person.” The judge also spoke broadly about how, when kids are sent to presumed safe places like schools, churches and youth centers, “time and again, we find the wolf is in with the lambs.”

"I think the judge hit the nail on the head," said Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne. "These are places we send our children to be safe, and to betray that trust, really affects the whole community...It's essentially taken us 37 years to bring this man to justice. Thirty-seven years ago there were the exact same allegations in the school district, in a similar situation where he was in a position of trust.”

Scaringe didn’t speak at his sentencing. His attorney, Mary Rain, had asked for the minimum of two years. Rain said her client plans to file an appeal.  She believes the testimony from the alleged victims from the 1970s, which was only supposed to be used in a limited scope, had an undue influence on the jury’s decision.

 

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