A man from Tennessee said in his pleasant Southern accent that he recognizes Jeffrey Barton as the man who molested him more than 20 years ago. The witness spoke in court yesterday, October 13, 2015.
John Doe Number Six, who is now 35 years old, faced the defendant in San Diego Superior Court and said that Barton, now 57, was the man who ran the sports and athletic center at the boys’ school he attended as a teenager.
The witness said he went to McCallie School in Chattanooga during the years 1993 through 1998; he entered the school at 13 years of age and left when he was 18. The witness said he was a “day student” at the private, Christian, college-prep school, and that he went home each night.
Barton was not a teacher at the school, the witness recalled.
How Barton allegedly got the boy alone
“He would show up at the gym when no one else was there,” he said. When the boy was in the gym alone shooting baskets, from time to time, Barton would find him there. “He would seek me out and come talk to me.” The witness recalled that Barton offered to take him on a trip to Atlanta to see a minor league hockey team play. The witness said he was enthused about the opportunity but had to convince his parents to get permission.
On the day that Barton came to pick up the boy, John Doe was surprised to see that Barton was driving his own truck and not the official blue McCallie van owned by the school. Eventually the teen realized that there were no other students going on the trip.
Barton booked a hotel room before they attended the game.
The witness told the court that he awoke in his bed that night facing Barton, who was kneeling on the floor next to the bed, and that Barton was touching his private parts. “He jumped up, scampered back to his bed,” the witness testified.
Deputy D.A. suggests Barton went overseas to "mentor"
Deputy district attorney Tracy Prior alleges that Barton was fired from the McCallie school 20 years ago because of abuse allegations but that the family of the victim refused to cooperate for fear of public shame; Barton then sued the school for wrongful termination and got a cash settlement and an agreement that the school would respond to inquiries with “we have no comment.”
The prosecutor also claimed that Barton molested boys over three decades at three boarding schools, and that he has traveled overseas to “mentor” boys in England, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Spain.
Barton has had employment at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad since 1994 and was head of schools at the academy before his arrest in October of 2013.
Barton's tenacious legal team doing its best
Barton’s trial began two weeks ago. He pleads not guilty to 20 felony counts of child abuse. A jury of six men and six women has been listening carefully, often leaning forward in their seats, and studying the face of the defendant. The trial is expected to continue through October.
Lead attorney Daniel Greene vigorously asserts the innocence of his client, who has been held in custody in lieu of various bail amounts, always millions, since his arrest. There are two attorneys and two law clerks with Jeffrey Barton in court; the prosecutor sits alone at her table.
Judge Harry Elias is hearing the trial in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista.