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Ex-St. Petersburg teacher acquitted of molestation, then charged with rape in New York

A man who was acquitted of molesting a 14-year-old middle school student in St. Petersburg 15 years ago was arrested Friday, accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in New York.

Michael J. Scaringe Jr., 61, of Saranac Lake, N.Y., was charged with first-degree rape and jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to New York State Police.

A local newspaper, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, reported that Scaringe is the director of the Saranac Lake Youth Center, which the girl frequented. It was unclear if the assault happened at the center.

A State Police investigator told the newspaper that the rape happened before Christmas, though he declined to provide an exact date.

Scaringe was a long-term substitute band teacher at Bay Point Middle School in 1995, when a student accused him of fondling her breasts and buttocks, rubbing his crotch against her and trying to kiss her on school grounds.

During Scaringe's trial in 1996, his defense attorney said the girl made up the story to avoid being punished for skipping class. He was acquitted by a jury.

In a St. Petersburg Times article that ran following his trial, Scaringe said he hoped to return to teaching someday.

Ex-St. Petersburg teacher acquitted of molestation, then charged with rape in New York 01/03/10 [Last modified: Sunday, January 3, 2010 9:59pm]

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