Sex offender denied court-appointed attorney

Posted Jan. 25, 2010, at 11:27 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:06 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A former Greenville barber, who was arrested in October for sexually assaulting two underage girls, made his initial court appearance Monday in Dover-Foxcroft District Court.

Donald Denbow, 67, of Shirley, who was convicted in 1982 of sexually abusing his own daughter from the age of 5 to 13, had requested a court-appointed attorney Monday to represent him on the new charges of three counts of gross sexual assault and one count of sexual abuse of a minor. Judge Kevin Stitham found Denbow not to be indigent Monday and denied his request. His case was continued to May 17 with his bail remaining at $500.

Although convicted of the earlier charge, Denbow was never listed as a sexual predator. Maine did not have a sex offender registry in 1982, but when the Legislature approved its formation in 2005, it made the registry’s contents retroactive to 1982.

Karen Green of the Maine Sex Offender Registry said in October the registry has been working to include those old cases online, and Denbow’s file was one the registry had just received. She said the state archives has been sending the registry “packages and packages” of old cases. Each one is reviewed to see whether it’s a sex offense, whether the crime is a registrable offense, and whether it falls into the categories the department has to register a person. Denbow’s was in the most recent lot received, according to Green.

Denbow, who operated a barbershop in Greenville until his October arrest and a similar business in Dover-Foxcroft until late August, was charged after two 15-year-old girls disclosed alleged past sexual abuse by Denbow after they were hired to clean his Dover-Foxcroft barbershop after hours.

Dover-Foxcroft police officers, who were assisted in the investigation by the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department and Greenville Police Department, arranged a sting operation in August when Denbow asked to meet one of the girls.

The girl told police that Denbow had attempted to reach her through cell phone text messages and had asked her to meet him somewhere in late September. A date was set, and Denbow allegedly assumed he was meeting the girl in Dover-Foxcroft for sex, but Dover-Foxcroft police were waiting for him instead.

One of the girls, who worked for Denbow from age 10 to 12, told police that Denbow had sex with her “hundreds of times” in the barbershop and would pay her for it. The other girl accused Denbow of making sexual advances, including putting his hand inside her underwear while she worked for him between March and May 2008.

When police executed a search of Denbow’s Greenville business and home at the time of his arrest, several items were seized including sexually explicit photographs of children, including the two girls,

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