Ex-school chief gets 48 years in sex abuse case
SAN DIEGO — The former headmaster of a Carlsbad military boarding school was sentenced Monday to 48 years in prison for repeatedly molesting a ninth-grade cadet.
It was the maximum punishment for Jeffrey Barton, 59, who proclaimed his innocence during the hearing in the Vista courtroom of Superior Court Judge Harry Elias. He said that his accusers — there were at least three — were lying and that he was the victim of a witch hunt.
“I cannot feel remorse for crimes I never committed,” Barton said during a 30-minute statement.
In June, a jury found Barton guilty of molesting the Army and Navy Academy student from 1999 to 2001, both on campus and during out-of-town trips. The victim said the abuse started when he was 14 and a cadet at the academy where Barton lived and taught.
The case hinged on the credibility of the accuser, who did not disclose the alleged abuse until 2013. The prosecution pointed to corroborating evidence, including contemporaneous suspicions from adults at the school and other accusers dating back decades.
Barton was not charged with molesting the older accusers; trial testimony from two of them was offered as corroboration.
Elias took their statements into account in sentencing Barton.
“I believe there is evidence that shows that these offenses were committed in a serial manner over a period of time,” the judge said.
The Army and Navy accuser, who is now 34, is suing Barton and the school. That civil trial is set for March.