Former Carlsbad Military School administrator convicted in indecent assault case, released from police custody

The former school principal at a Carlsbad military academy was sentenced this week to eight years in prison for assaulting a teenage cadet, and was released the next day after serving his sentence.

In November, Jeffrey Barton admitted two counts of assaulting the boy in Barton’s quarters on the campus of the Army and Navy Academy – events that prosecutors say occurred more than two decades ago, though Barton wasn’t arrested and charged until 2013, when the victim came forward. .

Barton was sentenced Tuesday in Vista Superior Court by now-retired Judge Harry Elias, who oversaw Barton’s trials. As part of his sentence, Barton must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The guilty plea came as Barton’s third trial loomed in January – his first trial ended in a stalemate; his second trial ended in conviction and he was sentenced to 48 years.

Last year, the 4th District Court of Appeals overturned Barton’s conviction, finding the judge erred in dismissing a juror after fellow jurors accused her of refusing to deliberate.

Barton has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual abuse which prosecutors say began in 1999, when the caddy was 14 and a new student at the seaside academy.

The accuser first disclosed the abuse to Carlsbad police in 2013. At trial, the prosecution pointed to corroborating evidence, including contemporary suspicions of adults at the school.

The defense painted the accuser as a liar and noted that he sued the school, ultimately settling for $1.75 million.

Martha K. Merrill