May 26, 2018
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Ex-barber pleads not guilty to sex charges

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A former barber who police say sexually preyed upon young girls who worked for him pleaded not guilty Monday in Dover-Foxcroft District Court to 13 counts of gross sexual assault.

Donald Eugene Denbow, 68, of Shirley made his initial court appearance in Dover-Foxcroft District Court on the 13 counts handed up last week by the Piscataquis County grand jury.

Denbow, who operated a barbershop in Greenville until his October arrest and a similar business in Dover-Foxcroft until late August, hired two underage girls to clean his business after hours. It was then that he preyed upon the girls, police say.

One of the girls, who worked for Denbow from age 10 to 12, told police that he 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.

After Denbow was arrested, his daughter Bonita Page, 43, of Florida came forward and questioned why her father had not been listed on the Maine Sex Offender Registry.

Page said that Denbow had been convicted in 1982 of sexually abusing her as a child from ages 5 to 13. The earlier conviction was for gross sexual misconduct, for which Denbow was sentenced to five years in prison with all but 120 days suspended and three years’ probation.

Maine did not have a registry in 1982, but when the Legislature approved its formation in 2005, it made the registry’s contents retroactive to 1982, Laura Smith of the Maine Attorney General’s Office said late last year.

Those old cases were being entered into the computer system, but Denbow’s had not yet made the list when the most recent charges were filed.

Denbow’s bail was continued Monday at $500 cash. His attorney is Richard Hartley of Bangor.

Also pleading not guilty Monday in Dover-Foxcroft District Court was Paula Thorne, 44, of Orneville, who was indicted last week on charges of theft, stealing drugs and possession of scheduled drugs. Thorne is accused of stealing about $8,000 worth of prescription drugs over several months from Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft, where she worked as a nurse. She allegedly would take out more medicine than was needed for patients, dispense the required doses and then keep the rest, say hospital officials. Thorne was terminated from the hospital after an in-house investigation.

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