ELLSWORTH (AP) – A Bar Harbor man has been ordered held without bail while awaiting sentencing for molesting 11-year-old twin brothers who were members of a children’s chorus that he directed.

A Hancock County Superior Court jury deliberated 30 minutes Thursday before finding Tom Wallace, 41, guilty of two counts of assault and one count of unlawful sexual contact.

Wallace presented his own defense during the trial as his court-appointed counsel, Stephen Juskewitch, acted as a legal adviser.

The trial focused on alleged incidents that took place while Wallace, who directed the Eden Children’s Chorus and Ensemble, met privately with the two brothers at their home last September.

During the two days of testimony, one boy said Wallace fondled him and asked to perform another sexual act; the other boy said the defendant kissed him intimately.

Wallace, who took the stand Thursday, acknowledged that he met frequently with the boys for activities that included wrestling and massages but denied that he was a pedophile or that he ever committed a crime.

While admitting that he had kissed one of the boys on the mouth – he called it a “peck” – Wallace said it was “a sign of affection.”

The defendant said he was aware of concerns that he might be a danger to children and was infuriated by what he perceived as pressure to change the way he interacted with them.

“If I believe something is right, I make sure I do it,” he told jurors during his defense. “I’m not going to allow people to affect my beliefs because of their fears.”

Juskewitch said he likely would advise Wallace to appeal the verdict.

Justice Thomas Delahanty II granted Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett’s request for denial of bail on grounds that Wallace said he intended to leave the area and thus posed a flight risk.

The judge ordered that Wallace undergo a psychological evaluation prior to sentencing.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.