Residents call for change at facility after alleged rape
Residents in Pleasantville are demanding an overhaul of the Cottage School in the wake of violent incidents.
Fifteen-year-old Luis Flores, a student at the school, was arraigned at Mount Pleasant Town Court and charged as an adult with first-degree rape Friday. Police say he allegedly attacked an 18-year-old female student at the school Thursday and threatened to set her on fire with a cigarette lighter.
The alleged attack comes three months after a 12-year-old boy was accused of sodomizing another 12-year-old student at the residential treatment center that cares for 200 emotionally troubled kids.
The most notorious incident at the Cottage School took place in February of 2002. In that case, eight teenage girls were charged with brutally attacking one of their counselors, burning her with a hot iron and pouring bleach on her.
The school is in the middle of a residential area and neighbors say this latest incident has them on edge. Republican County Legislator Suzanne Swanson says she's frustrated that residents must foot the bill for police responses to the school and that more and more highly troubled kids are being placed there.
School Advisory Board member Dennis McCarthy says the kids at the school are not being treated. McCarthy says that issue needs to be addressed.
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