Camillus group home counselor charged with sexually abusing teen

<font size="2">Markeem Chaplin</font>

A counselor from a Camillus group home is accused of sexually abusing a teenage resident.

Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies say 21-year-old Markeem Chaplin, of 202 South Avenue, had sexual contact with a 16-year-old. Chaplin was a group home counselor at Toomey Residential & Community Services, a non-for-profit organization that provides residential and clinical services in Central New York.

The incident was reported to Camillus Police and the Vulnerable Persons Central Register Hotline, a statewide toll-free hotline operated by the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.

Toomey Residential and Community Services is a separately incorporated affiliate of Catholic Charities. It provides services to 61 youth and adults in 12 group care facilities throughout Onondaga County.

Immediately after hearing about the allegation, the agency reported it to the NYS Justice Center and police. It suspended Chaplin and launched it's own investigation. Chaplin was later fired. "Our first priority is always the safety and well-being of the people entrusted to our care," said Judy D'Amore, executive director. "We recognized the severity of this situation and suspended the employee immediately after we learned of the possible abuse."

Chaplin is charged with criminal sex act and endangering the welfare of a child. H was arraigned in Camillus Town Court and sent to the Justice Center on $15,000 cash bail or $25,000 bond. He is due back in Camillus Town Court on October 15.

Deputies say there may be more victims. They are encouraging any victims or anyone with information to contact detectives in the Abused Persons Unit at (315) 435-3092.