- Associated Press - Sunday, September 21, 2014

LOGAN, Ohio (AP) - A southeast Ohio camp director has been charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering children after an 11-year-old girl was wedged for hours between two rock walls.

The Logan Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/1u9FPQY ) that campers went to the Hocking Hills Rock Climbing Rappelling area on July 16. The girl became stuck, dangling in her harness after trying to descend to a cavern floor 20 to 30 feet below, the newspaper reported over the weekend. Rescue workers freed her after several hours.

She was hospitalized for treatment, released the next day, then reportedly went to another hospital for more examination and treatment after experiencing headaches and leg numbness. Injuries included abrasions, cuts, and bruises.

Park officers said she told them that she volunteered to be lowered, was a little scared when she started, and more scared after getting stuck. The Hocking Hills Rope Rescue Team, park officers, and local fire departments responded, the newspaper reported.

Camp Otterbein director Scott Seese recently pleaded not guilty and has an Oct. 15 pretrial hearing. The Daily News reports that Seese was fined $135 by the Hocking Hills State Park and that the girl’s mother is pursuing civil litigation in the incident.

Seese referred a request for comment to a spokeswoman for the camp-affiliated West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Spokeswoman Lisa Streight said in a statement Sunday that seven campers and five adult staffers were involved in the camp activity in question. Adults guided the campers, using helmets, harnesses and other appropriate equipment, she said, adding that Seese is a highly trained, experienced and credentialed instructor with the American Mountain Guides Association.

“Parents and campers are informed in advance of all activities and associated risks, and campers receive a thorough orientation and instruction,” she said. “We are most grateful to Scott Seese and his team for their quick thinking and action during this unfortunate incident, for the care and support of the emergency response team, and most importantly, for the resulting safe descent of our camper.”

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