Jeffrey Scott Barton Criminal Trial Begins in Vista

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 12.13.53 PMSAN DIEGO COUNTY – Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of Jeffrey Scott Barton, the former Army and Navy Academy headmaster who allegedly molested boys in his care at the military boarding school in Carlsbad. According to the Union Tribune report, Barton’s lawyer adamantly insisted to the Vista Superior Court jury during opening statements that Barton is innocent and that evidence would show that. Barton, now 57, resigned as headmaster back in June 2013, about four months after one of the former cadets at the school came forward and told police that Barton had molested him. The charges against Barton, 20 molestation related felonies, are from three former cadets. The jury is expected to hear from four additional accusers who said Barton abused them as far back as 1983, when he was working at boarding schools in other states. 

Barton was previously the subject of an investigation by Carlsbad Police in 2000 when a former school employee claimed he was fired after discovering a cadet in Barton’s quarters. The teenager denied abuse and the case was closed.  In 2010, Carlsbad police received an anonymous letter that claimed Barton had an inappropriate relationship with a then-seventh grader. That cadet also denied abuse.  The accuser who came forward in June 2013 was the same student who had been found in Barton’s quarters in 2000. He told a grand jury that Barton began abusing him when he was 14 years old, and that Barton singled him out for overnight trips to local places including Big Bear and Joshua Tree, where he would molest him. 

If convicted, Barton faces a possible sentence of 300 years to life in prison.