One of the owners of Quarry Town Stables was arrested Tuesday on several charges, including felony sexual assault and kidnapping.
Middletown Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O'Keefe Jr. issued protective orders for all of the alleged victims in the case.
Robert L. Johnson, 43, of Sand Hill Road, was arrested by Portland police on a court warrant charging him with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, three counts of unlawful restraint, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, third-degree sexual assault and third-degree burglary.
Police and prosecutors would not release any details about the case. The warrant has been sealed by a judge.
Johnson appeared briefly in court, where bail was set at $75,000 and his case was continued to Oct. 25. Johnson posted bail later.
Bail Commissioner Tom Mack told the court that Johnson has no prior arrest record and is a lifelong resident of the state. After the court appearance, Johnson's case was transferred to the county's higher court for serious crimes.
Contacted later, Johnson's attorney, Richard A. Brown of Hartford, said his client vehemently denies all of the charges.
``He adamantly denies any validity to any of these charges and he will plead not guilty and ask for a jury trial at his next court appearance,'' Brown said.
Brown refused to discuss the underlying nature of the charges.
Middlesex State's Attorney John T. Redway also declined to discuss the case. Portland police would only name Johnson as the accused and list the charges.
Johnson could not be reached for comment.
Quarry Town Stables has been a family-run business in Portland for many years. It was formerly owned by Johnson's parents, Arthur and Barbara Johnson. But Robert Johnson and his wife, Carolyn, took ownership some years ago, when the elder Johnson's moved to Woodstock to open a stable there.