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Town justice upholds felony charge in Scaringe rape case

SARANAC LAKE - The youth center director accused of raping a 13-year-old local girl was back in court earlier this week for a felony hearing that upheld the case against him thus far.

Michael Scaringe, 61, appeared before Harrietstown Justice Thomas Glover shortly before noon Jan. 4 wearing orange prison garb and a Carhart jacket.

He was escorted into the courtroom by two Franklin County Sheriff's deputies, where he took his seat beside defense attorney Brian Barrett of Lake Placid.

The purpose of the hearing was to establish if enough evidence existed to pursue the felony charges levied against Scaringe, who was taken into custody Jan. 1 after police learned he allegedly forcibly raped an adolescent girl.

Prosecutor Jack Delehanty is an assistant district attorney for Franklin County.

"Judge Glover just conducted a felony hearing; it's the right of all defendants who stand charged with a felony offense to have their case heard by the local magistrate," he said. "The purpose of today's hearing was to determine whether or not there's reasonable cause to believe that the elements of any felony offense could be demonstrated by credible evidence and that's what Judge Glover indicated existed today. The defendant will now be bound-over for the action of the Grand Jury."

Justice Glover moved to uphold the charges of first-degree rape, despite Barrett's contention that the prosecution did not present any physical evidence to support its case.

Glover also maintained bail at $100,000 cash and $150,000 bond. Delehanty noted that Scaringe has two Social Security numbers, and has changed his name in the past - making him a prime candidate for flight-risk.

But Barrett disagreed.

"I'm just asking that the defendant be released, because I don't believe that sufficient evidence was presented to find that there was even reasonable suspicion that my client had committed any felony," he said.

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