BAR HARBOR — An Ellsworth man reportedly was found lying naked in the public restrooms at the Mount Desert Island YMCA here on Sept. 23. Bar Harbor police responded to a call from the Y and arrested Nicholas D. Pike, 19.
“YMCA staff was notified that a man allegedly was exhibiting inappropriate behaviors,” Y Director Alan Mogridge said in a statement. “When staff entered the restroom, the man was clothed. However, they recognized him as the man about whom the YMCA had received an alert.”
Pike was on bail for a previous offense, according to police. A condition of his release prohibited him from being at any location primarily used by children under the age of 16. Pike was arrested on a charge of violating conditions of his release.
After consultation with the District Attorney’s Office, Bar Harbor Police arrested Pike the next day at his home on a charge of “visual sexual aggression against a child under the age of 12 (Class C),” according to reports. He was taken to the Hancock County Jail where he is being held without bail. The Class C charge is a felony subject to five years in prison.
The YMCA later shared their surveillance video with police and will continue to support the investigation, Mogridge said, as well as conduct an internal investigation.
“Safety is our primary concern. The man is not a YMCA member. Because he used the public restroom by the front entrance of the facility, he did not need to pass by our front desk or get approval from our staff to enter. Staff at the front desk was aware of the alert.”
The charges come on the heels of others against Pike pending in the courts.
On May 31, he allegedly stole a pair of boys’ underwear from Wal-Mart.
During the investigation of that incident, his attorney, Steven Juskewitch, said it was alleged that in August of 2014, he sent a nude photo of himself to a minor in Canada who was a Facebook contact.
Pike was arraigned May 29 on charges of “visual sexual aggression against a child” and “harassment by telephone or electronic communication device” in connection with the alleged photo incident. He pleaded not guilty to both charges. A court date was set for June, but delayed until mental health treatment and risk evaluation reports were available, Juskewitch said.
“He has a rare genetic condition that affects his ability to properly assess the impact of his conduct,” Juskewitch said.
In the weeks before the alleged shoplifting incident, Pike was twice seen at Ellsworth Elementary Middle School (EEMS) sitting in his parked car near the playground. Those incidents culminated with Pike being issued trespass warnings.
School Superintendent Dan Higgins wrote a letter to parents prompted by a parent’s post on Facebook alleging Pike exposed himself. The post went viral and was shared more than 620 times but was not accurate, Higgins said.
“It is important to note that this individual has not been charged with any crimes or inappropriate actions against any of our students, nor for any activity on school grounds,” Higgins wrote.
Juskewitch said Pike is “not a risk in many of the ways that we think of when we think of this.” Pike has never exhibited violence, he said.
Timothy Bland, school resource officer at Conners Emerson in Bar Harbor, echoed Mogridge’s concerns but also said that statistically, kids are safer now than in the past. “I understand people are really scared right now, and I understand people wanting to be vigilant,” he said. He advises young people, “You want to be around people that you trust. If you see something that doesn’t look right, you should tell an adult you trust as soon as possible.”
Steve Fuller contributed to this story.