March 20, 2013

State shutters Norridgewock day-care center

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

NORRIDGEWOCK — The state has shut down a day-care center where the owner's husband was charged with unlawful sexual contact with three children earlier this month.

ABC 123 Daycare was closed by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday because of conditions that jeopardize the health and safety of children, department spokesman John Martins said.

The site was ordered closed for 10 days while the department tries to get court permission to close the facility permanently, he said.

ABC 123 opened on Nov. 19, 2008, and was licensed as a day care center for up to 12 children. It was run by Barbara Barstow in the home she shares with her husband, Horace Barstow, at 43 Upper Main St., and was licensed to employ four people, according to DHHS records.

On March 8, Horace Barstow, 67, was arrested and charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact with three children at the day care center. He was released later on bail.

When contacted by phone, Horace Barstow identified himself but did not comment further. A person who answered the phone at the center on Wednesday said the Barstows had no comment.

The children's names were not released, but all three were under 12 years old, according to a news release from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The alleged offenses took place between Nov. 1 and Dec. 7, 2012, according to court records.

Barstow is also a former sheriff's deputy for the Somerset County Sheriff's Department. He completed his reserve officer's training in June 1980, according to Dale Lancaster, the department's chief deputy.

Barstow was employed there as a reserve deputy from April 1985 through March 2001, Lancaster said.

He said Barstow worked part time, adding that he did not know whether Barstow had a criminal record outside of the current allegations.

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

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

He is ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with the children identified as victims and is not to enter any residence, place of employment or school where they could be.

He also is to have no contact with any female under the age of 16.

Barstow is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. April 3 in Somerset County Superior Court.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
rohm@mainetoday.com

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