SKOWHEGAN – A former sheriff’s deputy accused of molesting three children at the Norridgewock day care center owned by his wife entered no plea during his first appearance in court Wednesday.

Horace Barstow, 67, of Norridgewock is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact with three children.

He said he understood his bail conditions, rights and the charges against him, but made no other statements in Skowhegan District Court.

According to court records, the contact with the children took place between Nov. 1 and Dec. 7 at ABC 123 Daycare, which was owned and operated by Barstow’s wife, Barbara, at their home at 43 Upper Main St.

The state Department of Health and Human Services closed the site temporarily on March 18. Barbara Barstow later surrendered her license and the facility closed permanently, said John Martins, spokesman for the department.

Barstow was released Wednesday on $20,000 bail on the condition that he have no contact with the victims or any girls under age 16.

Barstow was arrested March 8 and released at the time from Somerset County Jail on $250 cash bail.

He was a reserve deputy with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department from April 1985 through March 2001. He completed his reserve officer’s training in June 1980, according to Dale Lancaster, chief deputy.

Barstow also was a reserve officer with the Norridgewock Police Department before it closed in 1986, said Leroy Jones, the town’s former police chief.

Jones, who was police chief from 1976 to 1984, said he remembers working with Barstow for at least three or four years.

In 2005, Barstow was honored for 25 years of service to the town’s Fire Department.

He is scheduled to appear in district court again April 24.

 

Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:

rohm@mainetoday.com