Head of Schools for military academy hopes for a technicality

Attorney for Jeffrey Barton will move to dismiss case

Barton denies all charges.
  • Barton denies all charges.
  • Image by Eva Knott

Jeffrey S. Barton was brought into a San Diego Superior Courtroom yesterday, December 15, handcuffed and wearing black-framed eyeglasses, where he pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of felony child abuse.

Barton turned 57 years old last month, held in lieu of $6 million bail.

Carlsbad police announced their arrest of Barton more than a year ago, on October 17, 2013.

“The investigation began in June of 2013 when a victim, now an adult, reported past sexual abuse by Barton to the police department,” according to lieutenant Marc Reno, in a press release.

In the first charging document, prosecutor Tracy Prior made special allegations of multiple victims, and sex acts by “force, violence, duress, menace and fear …” The potential prison term for each count was listed as 15 years to life, in court documents. Since then, Barton has been indicted by a grand jury.

Attorney Daniel Greene, with Barton, is expected to argue that all charges should be dismissed.

Attorney Daniel Greene, with Barton, is expected to argue that all charges should be dismissed.

Jeffrey Barton had been employed by the Army Navy Academy, located in northern San Diego County, from 1995 until the police investigation began in June of 2013. He is said to have been “Head of Schools” for the boys’ military academy located in Carlsbad.

Barton reportedly resided in neighboring Oceanside.

At the hearing yesterday, Honorable Judge Harry Elias spoke for less than an hour with attorneys regarding subpoenaed information that his office continues to receive; this included two large envelopes from the Army Navy Academy. Judge Elias also mentioned the Dunn School, which is a college prep school for students in grades 6 through 12, located in the rural community of Los Olivos in central California.

At the next hearing, Barton’s defense attorney is expected to argue that his client’s grand jury indictment should be “set aside,” possibly for lack of probable cause, or any procedural technicality. The hearing was set for January 30, 2015, and Judge Elias will hear argument from both sides starting at 1:30 in the afternoon, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.

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He should be enjoying himself in jail.

In chess, they call the first move, or the first few moves, the player's "opening gambit." This challenge to the legal standing of the prosecution is not typical, but not unexpected. If the defense can stop the prosecution in its tracks, then it wins. But, folks, that ain't gonna happen. The judge may make some rulings that favor the defense, but is he likely to dismiss all the charges? No way, Jose! To use a military term, this was just the opening salvo by the defense.

Our parents always trust teachers. No matter what a child says. A teacher in their eyes is a model of society, a model of decent behavior and modest thoughts. But how many other cases of child abuse at school are recorded! Just thinking about it makes me feel dizzy. It can be a person who volunteers, who is a dissertation writer and completes professional tasks, who is a noble man in the scientific circles. And yet, it can be a something horrible that follows its instincts.

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