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Conviction of Army & Navy headmaster for child abuse is overturned – updated 12-6-21

Appeals court disagreed with dismissal of juror - see author update in Comments

From Megan's Law website
From Megan's Law website

A top official at a boys academy in San Diego County had his child abuse conviction overturned, and he was granted a new trial by an appellant court.

Jeffery Barton, then 55, was head of schools at the Army & Navy military academy in Carlsbad, when he was arrested and accused of child abuse in October of 2013. He was employed there almost 20 years, from 1994 until his arrest. Accusations first surfaced in June 2013, when Barton was accused of molesting boys from 13 to 15 years of age.

Patricia Lavermiccoca, left, led the second prosecution of Barton in May 2016. Judge Harry Elias, right, sentenced Barton to 48 years for each of the six guilty counts.

Three months ago, on October 26, 2020, an appeals court overturned Barton’s conviction because the trial judge removed a juror who reportedly refused to deliberate.

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The appellant court did not dispute that Barton committed unlawful acts on boys.

“The evidence was more than sufficient to support the jury’s implied finding that Barton committed the sexual acts by means of duress. Thus Barton’s challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury’s verdict is meritless,” the judge wrote. “While we reverse the judgment due to the error regarding discharge of Juror Number Twelve, Barton may be tried again for these offenses…”

The 18-page decision was written by Associate Justice Richard D. Huffman, and justices Patricia D. Benke and Joan Irion concurred.

Barton’s first trial ended in November 2015. He was acquitted of some charges but the jury could not come to unanimous agreement on other counts.

Patricia Lavermiccoca led the second prosecution of Barton in May 2016, in which he was found guilty. The jury deliberated some days and complained about one female juror who reportedly would not join discussions. Then an alternate juror was substituted in, and the jury came to unanimous decisions in about five hours. Barton was convicted of five felony counts of sexual abuse of one student, plus one more felony molest charge.

Honorable judge Harry Elias sentenced Barton, then 59, to the maximum time allowed by law, 48 years, months for each of the six guilty counts.

Lavermiccoca is expected to prosecute Barton’s next trial, his third trial.

Barton, now 63, is expected to return to local custody in San Diego County on March 3. He has been in California State prison since 2017.

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From Megan's Law website
From Megan's Law website

A top official at a boys academy in San Diego County had his child abuse conviction overturned, and he was granted a new trial by an appellant court.

Jeffery Barton, then 55, was head of schools at the Army & Navy military academy in Carlsbad, when he was arrested and accused of child abuse in October of 2013. He was employed there almost 20 years, from 1994 until his arrest. Accusations first surfaced in June 2013, when Barton was accused of molesting boys from 13 to 15 years of age.

Patricia Lavermiccoca, left, led the second prosecution of Barton in May 2016. Judge Harry Elias, right, sentenced Barton to 48 years for each of the six guilty counts.

Three months ago, on October 26, 2020, an appeals court overturned Barton’s conviction because the trial judge removed a juror who reportedly refused to deliberate.

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The appellant court did not dispute that Barton committed unlawful acts on boys.

“The evidence was more than sufficient to support the jury’s implied finding that Barton committed the sexual acts by means of duress. Thus Barton’s challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury’s verdict is meritless,” the judge wrote. “While we reverse the judgment due to the error regarding discharge of Juror Number Twelve, Barton may be tried again for these offenses…”

The 18-page decision was written by Associate Justice Richard D. Huffman, and justices Patricia D. Benke and Joan Irion concurred.

Barton’s first trial ended in November 2015. He was acquitted of some charges but the jury could not come to unanimous agreement on other counts.

Patricia Lavermiccoca led the second prosecution of Barton in May 2016, in which he was found guilty. The jury deliberated some days and complained about one female juror who reportedly would not join discussions. Then an alternate juror was substituted in, and the jury came to unanimous decisions in about five hours. Barton was convicted of five felony counts of sexual abuse of one student, plus one more felony molest charge.

Honorable judge Harry Elias sentenced Barton, then 59, to the maximum time allowed by law, 48 years, months for each of the six guilty counts.

Lavermiccoca is expected to prosecute Barton’s next trial, his third trial.

Barton, now 63, is expected to return to local custody in San Diego County on March 3. He has been in California State prison since 2017.

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