Friday August 3, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Bail was set at $50,000 on Thursday for a 22-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting children and forcing them to pose nude for pictures.

Robert Labarre of Pittsfield pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Thursday to two counts of rape of a child with force, five counts of distribution of material involving nude children, placing a nude child in a lascivious pose, and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

Labarre was arrested Wednesday following a Pittsfield Police investigation that began in July, according to Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Rachel Eramo. In court records, Labarre told police he has been living in a tent in the woods in Pittsfield.

According to Eramo, the five children were between the ages of 5 and 9, but only the 5-year-old was spared the abuse. Labarre watched the children when their parents were not home, Eramo said.

District Court Judge Rita S. Koenigs set bail for Labarre at $50,000 cash or surety bond -- a high amount for a defendant with no previous criminal record.

In court, Eramo said Labarre could be a flight risk, pointing to the nature of the charges against him and his lack of ties to Berkshire County. Labarre moved to Pittsfield from Torrington, Conn., in 2010. He has relatives who live in Connecticut and Tennessee.

"The forensic interviews of the children were very consistent to each other in the case of what happened," Eramo said.


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The youngster who received the most abuse "gave a great deal of detail about what was done to him."

Appearing in court clad in a sleeveless maroon T-shirt, Labarre dropped his head when the allegations were read aloud. His attorney, public defender Alex Sohn, said Labarre recognized the seriousness of the charges, but "maintains his innocence." Sohn said there was no evidence to corroborate the allegations.

Labarre is being held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.

A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 30 in District Court.