Jeffrey Barton gets maximum sentence yesterday, Aug. 8

Barton, 59, gets 48 years for molesting boy

Jeffrey Barton, 57, pleads not guilty to all charges.
  • Jeffrey Barton, 57, pleads not guilty to all charges.

Jeffrey Barton spoke to a judge this morning, August 7, complaining and denying for more than 30 minutes, before he was sentenced to 48 years in prison for molesting a boy in his care.

The Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad

The Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad

“This entire investigation is a witch hunt for money,” claimed the former Head of Schools at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California. Barton worked at the academy almost 20 years.

Barton referred to a civil lawsuit against the boys’ military academy, which is currently working its way through the court system, that case is set for trial in March 2018. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are asking for as much as $24 million in damages for two alleged molest victims.

Barton, 59, has been held in custody in San Diego County since October of 2013. He was originally accused of molesting six boys who had been under his authority. Former students who knew Barton from three different schools across the United States, across a span of 30 years, made accusations. At the end of his first trial, Barton was acquitted of some charges but the jury could not come to conclusion on others. His second jury trial ended two months ago, in June 2017, at that time Barton was found guilty of six molest charges.

The second jury was able to come to unanimous decision only after one hold-out juror was finally dismissed by the judge, for failing to deliberate. Today, convicted molester Barton told the judge it was “scary” that “a juror was tossed.”

Today judge Harry Elias sentenced Barton to the maximum time allowed under law, 48 years, eight years for each of the six guilty counts. The judge declared the years are to be served consecutively, no parole.

“I have been assaulted more than once here,” Barton complained when he spoke before sentencing. Barton referred to the four years he was held in local jail while he awaited justice. In court today, he wondered aloud what might happen after he is sent to prison.

When he was speaking to the court before sentencing, Barton turned in his seat and tried to speak to certain persons who were seated in the gallery to hear his sentencing, but his defense attorney corrected him and Barton turned back to address the judge, which is proper protocol.

At one point, Barton held out some pages in his hand and told the judge that he had written letters to three different people, and Barton wanted the judge to assure him the letters would be delivered. Judge Elias responded that he was confident Barton’s attorney would do what is “legally appropriate.” Abusers are commonly prevented from contacting their victims.

Barton accused the female prosecutor, Patricia Lavermicocca, of “histrionics” during trial.

Barton claimed that his alleged victims lied, and he gave details in his own versions of certain “outings” during which he reportedly abused boys. Barton claimed that the alleged victims who came to give testimony “turned on the emotions” while they were in the witness box, in front of the jury. All of his alleged victims are now adults.

Barton never testified in his own defense.

Defense attorney Sherry Stone asked the judge for the minimum sentence for Barton. “He has no prior record,” she pointed out. “Jeffrey Barton did contribute to society, and the schools he taught at.” The defender said, “Jeffrey Barton contributed in a beneficial manner to the student body.” Defense asserted that the victims were willing participants in the sex acts.

Honorable Harry Elias heard both trials in San Diego’s North County Superior Court in Vista, California.

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I went to ANA between 2002-3. This guy was basically the headmaster in charge of the 6-8 grade students. Kids would make gross jokes about the cadets that would be called to Mr. Barton's office, but we never thought the jokes and rumors could be true, and that a predator was abusing kids right in our midst. A lot of abuse happens of many types happen inside the walls of ANA. It's mostly neglect by parents in thinking that sending their problem children to a $25k+/yr ROCT boarding school will solve their behavioral problems. A student was allegedly sodomized by other cadets with a broom-handle in the late 90's, almost killing the kid.I have a lot of conflicted feelings about this place. There are a lot of great teachers and administrators at ANA, so it's sad to see them dragged down by this piece of filth.

He says he'll appeal. How he can pay for an effective appeal is not clear. But methinks he has a strong basis for appeal, namely the dismissed juror. While the news reports had her refusing to deliberate with her mind made up when the cases went to the jury, and had her refusing to even explain her refusal to convict him, generally in a case of this high importance, a hold-out juror results in a mistrial. So, it would appear that this judge was convinced of Barton's guilt, and made sure that the verdict reflected that.

There's an extremely high probability Barton will win his appeal. Then it will be up to our new DA to decide if she wants to try him a THIRD time on those counts, or to fold.

ANA has been in the news too many times in recent years. The Johnnie Crean episode, where the school was being governed/misgoverned/managed for the gratification of an egotist was the worst until this came along. That school must get its collective act together and stop the scandals and abuse.

Honorable Judge Harry Elias made careful comments, on the record, about the dismissal of the holdout juror -- before he pronounced sentence. Juror Number Twelve, the one who was dismissed, was apparently found to be "not credible," after the judge questioned her. And the other jurors who complained about her, and were also carefully questioned by the judge, were found credible. Judges hate to be overturned, and judge Elias certainly knows the rules. In my observations, judge Elias looks like a brave jurist who is trying to get to the truth, as the law allows.

I'll accept your appraisal of the judge and his efforts. The step of removing a juror during deliberations for this set of reasons is most unusual. Generally the judges want the jury to do its thing with a minimum of involvement of the judge. I base my opinion on the fact that whenever something like this occurs, the appeal courts have to give weight to the unusual circumstances. So, I still think Barton has a good chance of having those convictions overturned.

Whatever happens legal-wise, his school career is over.

A page on the website of California's Inmate Locator shows Jeffrey S. Barton is currently serving his time at Pleasant Valley State Prison, as of August 24, 2017. The website states Barton will be eligible for parole in October 2038, when he will be 80 years old. However, Judge Elias clearly stated "no parole" at sentencing.

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