Former McCallie School Employee Arrested In California On Child Sex Charges; McCallie Says Only 1 Student Involved

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A former McCallie School employee has been arrested in California on 16 counts of forcible sex acts.

Jeffery S. Barton, 55, is under a $3 million bond.

Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior said Barton victimized at least six boys between 1997 and 2001, including two at McCallie.

The two alleged victims named in the charges were middle school cadets from the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, Calif.

The prosecutors said two others were from McCallie and two more from Aiken Preparatory Boarding School for boys in South Carolina.

A report from ABC affiliate station KGTV in San Diego said Barton was allegedly fired from McCallie for fondling boys, but Barton and the school settled. Under the settlement, the report said, McCallie  could not say why he was fired.

"The defendant's pattern of abuse has spanned three different decades, three separate boarding schools, seven separate school years where the defendant was in a position of trust to each of his middle school-aged boy victims," prosecutor Prior stated.

Billy Faires, McCallie official, said, "To the best of my knowledge and that of current administration, there was only a single incident reported by a single student, an incident that led swiftly to action on the part of the school and to Barton's immediate suspension and eventual termination."

He said this email was sent to McCallie parents on Thursday morning, "Dear Parents, it has come to our attention that a former McCallie employee, Jeff Barton, has been arrested in California and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Several reports in California and locally make reference to Mr. Barton's time at McCallie and to accusations made against him during his time here.

"The incident involving Mr. Barton while he was an employee at McCallie occurred 20 years ago. In 1993, a student informed the school of the incident, at which time the school reported the matter to child protective services, and Mr. Barton was immediately suspended. Ultimately, and due to reasons beyond the school's control, charges were not filed against Mr. Barton. The school, however, proceeded to terminate Mr. Barton’s employment.

"At the time, McCallie fully and proactively cooperated with local authorities. More recently, we have been cooperating with the California authorities in the ongoing hope that justice will be served.

"To summarize: In 1993, a single McCallie student informed the school of an incident involving Mr. Barton. The school acted swiftly, first suspending the employee, then reporting the matter to authorities and terminating Mr. Barton's employment.

"In 1993 as today, the safety of our boys remains paramount. McCallie has clear policies in place to protect its students to the best of our ability."

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