Ex-school chief gets 48 years in sex abuse case

Los Angeles Times - - OBITUARIES - By Teri Figueroa teri.figueroa@sdunion­tri­bune.com Figueroa writes for the San Diego Union-Tri­bune.

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.