ROCKLAND, Maine — A 64-year-old Washington man who sexually assaulted as many as 24 children, many from the child care center that his wife ran nearly a quarter century ago, will be spending five more years behind bars.
Danny W. Howard was sentenced Wednesday in Knox County Superior Court by Justice Jeffrey Hjelm to five more years in prison for probation violations.
Howard, who was released from prison in 2006, violated probation for being on the grounds of the South Liberty Baptist Church last June where children were attending a Bible study retreat. Terms of Howard’s probation prohibit him from having any contact with children.
He also violated probation by not following through on his sex offender counseling.
He has been held in jail since his arrest in June.
Howard was convicted in 1991 of multiple counts of gross sexual assault. Then-District Attorney William Anderson, now a Superior Court judge, said at Howard’s sentencing that the investigation by police turned up 24 victims, some as young as several months old.
Then-Justice Herbert T. Silsby II said at Howard’s 1991 sentencing that Howard should be kept in confinement as long as possible. He imposed the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, which included 15 years of probation that could lead to more jail time if he violated its terms.
“Everything indicates you will continue to be a menace to any child around,” Silsby said at the time. “The damage you have done can’t be quantified. It’s a terrible tragedy you have caused.”
Even Howard’s attorney, Lawrence Frier, said at the 1991 hearing that there was a real threat his client would continue his offenses, but that there was little treatment available for someone such as Howard.
At the 1991 hearing, Howard said he hoped the children he abused would receive the treatment that he never received for being a victim of sexual assault. He also thanked then-Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ernest McIntosh for stopping him.
A student in a school drug prevention program run by McIntosh left a note for the officer saying he had been victimized by Howard. That led to the investigation and later conviction of Howard.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported Danny Howard's age as 63. It is 64.