AUBURN — A former Little League and youth basketball coach was denied bail Tuesday after his arrest last week for an alleged probation violation.

Michael Johnson, 44, of Poland was released from prison in November after he served five years for a string of sex crimes, including gross sexual misconduct, dissemination of sexually explicit material and possession of sexually explicit materials dating back to 1998. Johnson appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Tuesday morning in a faded blue jail suit. A February hearing is scheduled on the alleged probation violation.

According to an affidavit by Johnson’s probation officer, Johnson was seen driving a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle down Minot Avenue at about 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 16, a Saturday. A “very young girl” was at his side in the passenger seat, the affidavit said.

Later that week, Probation Officer Michael Simoneau said he met with Johnson, who came to his office with a woman. Johnson told Simoneau he drove the woman and her two daughters, ages 9 and 11, to the girls’ grandmother’s home in Lewiston. He then gave the girls’ mother a ride to her college class. He had picked the three up at the woman’s home in Mechanic Falls.

“Johnson stated he had screwed up and would never do it again,” Simoneau wrote.

Assistant District Attorney Deborah Cashman argued Tuesday that Johnson be held without bail until his probation violation hearing.

She said Johnson should have known better, having undergone a sex offender treatment program and counseling in prison. She pointed to his brief period of release before allegedly violating the terms of his probation. He is prohibited from having contact with children under age 18.

Cashman said there was some dispute over the facts of Johnson’s violation.

Justice Thomas Delahanty II agreed with Cashman and ordered Johnson held without bail.

Johnson was screened later Tuesday to determine whether he was eligible for a court-appointed attorney. If he is found to have violated his probation by a preponderance of evidence, Johnson could serve up to five years of his suspended sentence.

In 2003, Johnson was charged with having sexually abused young girls during the 1980s. Police said Johnson prowled Kennedy Park in search of girls between 14 and 16 years old to dance for him and have sex with him. He gave them alcohol and drugs, police said.

Johnson once coached at the YMCA and the Auburn Suburban Little League. Police said he lured young women by advertising for exotic dancers. Police found child pornography on his home computer.

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