"This case is as serious as it gets"

Former Army Navy Academy administrator faces 23 child-abuse charges

Jeffrey Barton
  • Jeffrey Barton

The attorney for 56-year-old Jeffrey Barton, former administrator at the Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, abruptly cancelled a bail hearing on Friday, October 24, immediately after a judge said he would allow news cameras to record the proceeding.

In October 2013, Barton was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing some of the boys in his care. His bail has ranged between $3 million to $9 million, after different hearings; currently his bail stands at $6 million.

Tracy Prior

Tracy Prior

Barton enjoyed high regard by colleagues at the academy because he secured “one of the biggest donors in the history” of that institution, prosecutor Tracy Prior stated in court papers. She declared concern that “just one donor could bail defendant out and put the public at risk.”

A grand jury heard evidence in May of this year, after which Barton was indicted on 22 counts. One more count was added soon after that hearing. Barton has pleaded not guilty to all charges and allegations.

Prosecutor Prior claims she has “independent corroboration” for each of the 23 child-abuse charges, which include multiple forcible sodomies. The prosecutor claims she has assembled eight victims.

The alleged victims suspect that Barton drugged them, and the prosecutor claims that investigators discovered Barton had prescriptions for several drugs, including Zolpidem, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, and Hydrocodone. The prosecutor stated these are intended to induce sleep, and she theorized that Barton might have combined the drugs for “worse effect.”

The grand jury heard testimony that victims “could not move,” blacked out, or went into a semi-conscious state after Barton gave them pizza, brownies, or homemade cookies.

Pills found in Jeffrey Barton's locker

Pills found in Jeffrey Barton's locker

Investigators searched Barton’s locker in April of 2014 and found Zolpidem and Alprazolam; some of the tablets were broken up and some were crushed into powder, the prosecutor stated in court papers.

One alleged victim testified that he was invited to an overnight snowboard trip with Barton, and he passed out after he “ate defendant’s brownies”; the next day he experienced rectal soreness and bleeding. That alleged victim, John Doe Number Three, was 13 years old at the time.

The grand jury heard a witness claim he saw Barton “sprinkling something on a pizza before presenting that pizza to two boys,” the prosecutor stated in court papers.

The prosecutor said investigators seized a black Speedo bathing suit allegedly described by some of the alleged victims in their graphic reports.

In papers filed for the bail hearing deputy district attorney Prior vigorously argued against any reduction in bail, stating that the defendant would then have access to more potential victims. In her statement, Prior reminded the court that in determining bail, “the public safety shall be the primary consideration.”

“The case is as serious as it gets,” Prior asserted.

The prosecutor claims Barton molested boys at three boarding schools during the past 30 years.

“For multiple summers, defendant has traveled to other countries and other locations to run summer camps with access to boys. As recent as the summer of 2013, defendant went to England where he is the director of a summer camp. It has been reported that defendant has mentored boys in Ecuador, Venezuela, and Spain.”

Barton was fired from a boys’ school in Tennessee 20 years ago because of abuse, the prosecutor alleges. In that case, the boy and his family declined to cooperate with prosecution because they feared public shame; then Barton sued the school for wrongful termination and won a $5000 settlement and an agreement from that school that if there were any inquiries about Barton’s sudden departure, the school would reply “We have no comment.”

Prior claims that Barton kept paperwork regarding that settlement with the McCallie School for Boys “hidden in the back of his vehicle, underneath a floor mat near the spare tire.”

That same alleged victim from 20 years ago, now a grown man, “feels incredibly guilty that his family made that decision so long ago” and now believes that if they had gone forward with criminal prosecution “maybe defendant would not have gotten hired at Army Navy Academy and molested other boys,” the prosecutor stated in her filing.

Barton was “Head of Schools” at the military academy in Carlsbad when he was arrested. He was employed there from 1994 until his arrest in 2013. He is accused of molesting boys from 13 to 15 years of age.

“One victim reports that he was molested in excess of 50 times in suspect’s private residence, suspect’s office, and suspect’s car, as well on overnight trips suspect planned,” the prosecutor stated.

Daniel Greene and his client

Daniel Greene and his client

Last week, defense attorney Daniel Greene had asked the court to release Barton on his own recognizance. Judge Harry Elias declined, but instead set a bail hearing because the prosecutor wanted to give the alleged victims a chance to offer information to the court.

This case is set for trial in February of next year in San Diego’s North County Superior Court.

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This evidence photo was included in motion papers filed by the prosecutor before the hearing on Friday, October 24, 2014. Some of the alleged victims reportedly described a black-speedo-swimsuit, and this item was seized by investigators.

Just when some people thought it was safe to get back in the water and send their kids to the Army and Navy Academy, this comes down. I know an alumnus of the school who was involved in the board of directors work, and he was dedicated to the success and survival of the operation. It recently managed to raise funds and begin to modernize the campus. The ANA is about the last such operation in So Cal, and it would be a true shame to see it go. This case isn't helping the cause at all.

These accusations, if true, are devastating to the ANA. What they would mean is that the operation has been mismanaged and unsupervised for at least twenty years. After the board turmoil centering around Johnnie Crean a couple decades ago, the school hired a retired Brig. Gen. who seemed to have a strong view of what was necessary. But when these accusations were revealed, he was out, and another retired army general was hired to head up the place.

If these accusations turn out to be false, it will be the worst case since DA Ed Miller decided to prosecute Dale Akiki and Jim Wade, which cost Miller his office and disgraced him.

A boys school should never hire a single male.

That might be a good place to start, but it guarantees nothing. A married guy could be just as predatory, while having the cover of "happily married." The more important thing is to structure the operation to offer no opportunity for this sort of abuse. Being a residential facility, it's even more important to be ever vigilant, and to take seriously any suspected transgressions, even to the point of paranoia. The upper administration at ANA really dropped the ball here, if the accusations prove to be correct.

Because a penis is just a weapon of rape?

Funny, I've never been tempted to molest or assault anyone. Must be something wrong with me.

Hey, what about a girl's school? Can guys work there? Or any school at all? Or go anywhere near parks, schools, playgrounds, malls... or anywhere they might encounter kids? Maybe we should just lock them all up for the sex crimes they've thought about, haven't gotten to yet, or just haven't been caught for?

You can bet other adults knew something. My intuitive thought was that the large donors got to have a go round. Yes I know I'm a sick person.

Just what if. Sanduskyish gone on too many years.

Put the dick in a box at the office beginning of school day and pick it up on the way out.

I went to an all boys' boarding school. After two years, I returned to public high school. Several rumors were confirmed after my departure regarding more than one unmarried teachers who had had sexual contact with minor students. The key to understanding molestation and consensual contacts with students is access. The predator will go to any length to find ways to gain trust and access.

I often come into contact with sexual.predators in the criminal justice system. Reading a parole record about a sexual predator with multiple convictions reveals that they are compulsive. These individuals must wear tracking devices once they are released from prison. Schools and churches provide the access to children these criminals seek. Trust is given to single men all too often. I can name dozens of multi-victim child molestation cases where schools and churches provided child victims. Relatives are often perpetrators, too.

In one case, a trusted church employee who was single molested several foreign exchange students. He video-taped the encounters. He had served five years in prison in another state for the exact same type of crimes. He served another five years in California because the foreign students did not want to return from Japan to testify. The video tapes were enough evidence to force a plea agreement.

There are false allegations at times. But many more crimes go unreported or under-prosecuted.

There was a brief hearing today, November 18, 2014, on this case, but defendant Jeffrey Barton was not brought into the courtroom. The judge looked over subpoenaed documents to decide what might be confidential or protected by attorney-client privilege, and attorneys agreed on who would get what information.

The next court date was set for Dec 15, to be a status conference. The defendant is expected to be present for that hearing.

Jury selection for a one-month trial is set for February 9 2015. Potential jurors will be asked to fill out a questionnaire in San Diego’s North County Courthouse and will meet Judge Harry Elias before they are sent to the courtroom.

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