SKOWHEGAN — A former sheriff’s deputy accused of molesting three children at the Norridgewock day care center owned by his wife made his first appearance in court Wednesday.

Horace Barstow, 67, of Norridgewock, is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact with three children. He entered no plea.

He said he understood his bail conditions, rights and the charges against him; but he 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. Since then, Barbara Barstow has surrendered her license and the facility’s closure was made permanent, said John Martins, spokesman for the department.

Barstow was released Wednesday on bail of $20,000 worth of property and the condition that he have no contact with the victims or any females under the age of 16. Barstow’s attorney Bill Logan said he had no comment on the arraignment Wednesday.

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

He is a former sheriff’s deputy with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. He completed his reserve officer’s training in June 1980, according to Dale Lancaster, chief deputy of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, and was employed by the county as a reserve deputy from April 1985 through March 2001.

Barstow also was a reserve officer with the Norridgewock Police Department before the department 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 during that time.

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 at 8:30 a.m. April 24.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
rohm@mainetoday.com