Updated 01/28/2010 07:03 AM
SL Youth Center and Planned Parenthood hold public presentation
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. -- "Understand that all of the blame belongs to the person who broke the rules," said Planned Parenthood Sexual Assault Educator Kelly Johnson-Eilola.
A community copes with devastating allegations, the local youth center director Michael Scaringe Jr., charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.
"It's very sad because it's such a good program and it ripped the guts out of it and it's very sad, "community member Susan Moody said.
After shutting down for several weeks, the Saranac Lake youth center is now trying to move on. It has joined forces with Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York, and held a public forum Wednesday to help educate the community about sexual assault.
Johnson-Eilola said, "Often what we see when we have public events is a few people will come, and they'll test the waters, what they will do is carry the message back out into the community," Johnson-Eilola said.
Although the event was open to the community's youth only adults attended.
"It's important that we talk to both children and parents so that we get to move forward on this issue and get the youth center back open," said Johnson-Eilola.
But this was just the first of several sessions.
And organizers hope to see youths at future events.
"It will be a more private setting for the youth so they're able to express some of their more personal feelings," said Johnson-Eilola.
The Saranac Lake Youth Center President says moving forward, community involvement is critical to recovery.
"Support, we are really striving to keep the youth center open and we need community support to keep the doors open and kids coming," Saranac Lake Youth Center President Doug Zobel said.
Michael Scaringe Jr. has officially been removed as the director of the Saranac Lake Youth Center, which has been closed since his arrest was made in the beginning of January. Scaringe has entered a not-guilty plea and is awaiting trial proceedings.
The Saranac Lake Youth Center and Planned Parenthood educators encourage those with questions or concerns about sexual assault to call the Planned Parenthood Hotline at (877) 212-2323.