NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — A local day care has been ordered to close after the operator’s husband has been charged with sexually assaulting children at the home-based business.
ABC 123 Daycare on Upper Main Street in Norridgewock was ordered closed on Monday by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, according to a letter sent to the day care’s owner Barbara Barstow. The letter was signed by Commissioner Mary Mayhew and dated March 15.
“This Order is issued because conditions exist that immediately jeopardize the health and safety of the children enrolled in your family child care program,” Mayhew said in the letter.
The order was a 10-day suspension, but DHHS Communications Director John Martins said in an email on Thursday that Barbara Barstow has voluntarily surrendered her license.
Her husband, Horace Barstow, 67, was arrested by Maine State Police Detective Christopher Tupper on March 8 and charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact with children under the age of 12. The victims are three different children, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a release last week.
“Tupper has begun interviewing parents of current and past students to determine if there are any additional victims,” McCausland said on March 11.
Barstow was taken to Somerset County Jail in Madison, where he has since been released on $250 bail. He will make his first court appearance at Skowhegan District Court on April 3. According to a jail spokesman, Barstow is ordered to have no contact with females under the age of 16 and have no contact with the victims or visit any place where the victims may be located.
According to Martins, ABC 123 Daycare opened on Nov. 19, 2008 and was licensed for 12 children. The day care had four employees plus the owner, Barbara Barstow, he said. The day care is at the Barstows’ home.
To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.