FARMINGTON, Maine — A Phillips man pleaded not guilty Monday in District Court to endangering the welfare of two children.

Robert Parker Jr., 43, is accused of giving cigarettes to two children under 15 years old.

Franklin County sheriff’s deputies conducted an investigation this summer, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said prior to court.

Parker was arrested Sunday on two misdemeanor charges — endangering the welfare of a child and a violation of condition of release. He pleaded not guilty to the latter.

Parker was out on bail for an unrelated incident. His sentence had been deferred, and one of the items in the agreement was no additional criminal conduct.

Defense attorney Linda Sparks suggested Parker be released on a pretrial contract. She said he would live with his mother in Lewiston.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins asked for $2,000 cash bail or pretrial contract. He also requested that Parker have no contact with children under 16.

The state is concerned that giving the cigarettes to the children may be a grooming activity, Robbins said.

Judge Nancy Carlson set bail at $2,000 cash or a pretrial contract.

The state also filed a motion to revoke the deferred disposition. That hearing will be held in November.