FARMINGTON — A Rangeley man appeared in Franklin County Superior Court on Friday and denied engaging in sexual misconduct with a young girl.

David Paquette, 35, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of unlawful sexual contact and sexual misconduct with a child under age 12. He was indicted on the charges in January.

Paquette was returned to the Somerset County Jail in Madison, where he has been since his arrest in December 2012. His bail remains at $20,000 cash.

Rangeley police launched an investigation after receiving a referral from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services of an alleged incident on Nov. 28, 2012. They executed a search warrant at a Rangeley residence on Dec. 12 and collected several items as evidence, police Chief Dennis Leahy previously said.

According to the state’s complaint last month, Paquette knowingly displayed sexually explicit material to a girl with the intent to encourage her to engage in a sex act or sexual contact.

In December, District Court Judge Nancy Carlson banned Paquette from having contact with children under age 18, and ordered him not to possess video equipment and any medium of motion picture video digital equipment and computers, according to court documents. He is also subject to random search without probable cause.

She set bail at $20,000 cash.

On Friday, defense attorney David Sanders asked Justice Robert Murray to lower bail to $500 with a pretrial service agreement. Sanders said his client could not afford bail, but if he was released he would be living in an apartment building with family members who have children ages 3 and 4.

Sanders asked that Paquette’s bail conditions allow him to have supervised visits with his family’s children but no contact with other children.

Richard Simcock, the person responsible for the Maine pretrial service agreements in Farmington, said he had previously made a phone call on a contract but would be willing to conduct further investigation to see if Paquette would qualify.

Justice Robert Murray said the bail will remain the same pending more investigation, and it could be brought before the court in early March to for possible amendment.

Distributed by MCT Information Services