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Barber pleads not guilty

Dan Barber, well known North Hudson resident and businessman, entered a not guilty plea to one charge of the sexual assault of a child under 13 and six counts of possession of child pornography in St. Croix County criminal court on Monday.

Barber, 46, was in court with his attorney, Mark Gherty of Hudson, for his arraignment on the felony charges. District Attorney Eric Johnson represented the state.

Judge Edward Vlack said that while he was handling the arraignment proceedings he was recusing himself from the case and a new judge would be appointed. The reason for the change was not specified in court.

Barber is accused of having sexual contact with a 5-year-old boy who was staying overnight at his home in 2011 and possession of child pornography on several electronic devices he owns.

Johnson said the investigation into Barber’s activities is ongoing and that additional charges may be filed.

Barber who lives at 1033 Michaelson St. N. is free on bail. The felony charge of first degree sexual assault – contact with a child under 13, can result in a prison sentence of up to 60 years. The felony possession of child pornography charges carry possible sentences of up to 25 years each and a fine of up to $100,000.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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