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Eva Knott

Eva Knott is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

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

Before the judge pronounced sentence that day, a man identified as John Doe A spoke to the court through a video monitor. The prosecutor said this alleged abuse victim (now a mature man) “wanted to be here in person, but he was not able to fly out here.” The handsome man spoke with a soft southern accent and said, “I have been dealing with issues from Jeffry Barton for 36 years now.” He said he has his own grown kids now. “I find out a few weeks ago he will be incarcerated for 8 years for the crimes he committed.” The man plainly didn’t like it, “But I’m a rancher not a lawyer.” He complained that while Barton has been in custody, “He had many more rights than the kids in the boarding school had, when they were 12, 13, 14 years old. The families sent these kids off to school to teach them to be fine men. They could never have dreamed they would be subjected to a rogue sex offender, a pedophile!” He praised the victims who had the courage to testify during the jury trials, “They’re all great men.” “I understand that Jeff Barton will be released,” he said. “But what kind of monitoring will there be? There is the internet, they have a lot more access than there used to be.” Judge Harry Elias answered, “The state department of parole manages each individual parolee, after he reports to parole, and they get his case file.” The man answered politely, but sounded disappointed, “Yes sir.” He added, “I hope the restrictions placed on Barton will keep him away from kids.” Honorable judge Harry Elias explained that he agreed to the plea deal because he wanted to finally resolve the case, which has gone on for years, Barton was first arrested in 2013. The judge said Barton had 2,967 actual days in custody and 3,412 days “custody credits,” which means Barton has been in custody more than the 8 years he agreed to in the plea deal. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2021...
— December 6, 2021 3:16 p.m.

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

Jeffrey Scott Barton was released from custody on November 30, the same day he was sentenced, after he made a plea deal in which he admitted two counts of felony child abuse. The same judge who previously heard Barton’s two jury trials, Honorable Harry Elias, sentenced Barton last Tuesday to 8 years, which effectively meant “time served.” That same morning, defense attorney Sherry Stone requested Barton get his two expired passports returned to him, so he can use those as ID until he can get a California driver’s license or other current ID. Barton turned 64 years old in custody last month. He is described in local jail records as 5 feet 10 inches tall (he looks shorter) and 200 pounds. Judge Elias ordered Barton to check in at the parole office on Simpson Way in Escondido by Friday, December 3. The judge further ordered that Barton must register as a sex offender for life. At the same hearing, judge Elias signed ten-year protective orders for three of Barton’s alleged victims, those men were identified as John Does A, B, and C. Defense attorney Sherry Stone tried to demand “immediate release” for Barton, from the courtroom, she said she brought clothes and shoes for Barton to change out of his jail clothes. But judge Elias said he would not interfere with normal “Sheriff’s procedural release” from the local Vista jail, the judge told Barton that he would be released “sometime today.” Jeffrey Barton spoke to the court before his sentence was announced. He thanked various attorneys who worked on his case over the years, especially Robert Boyce for “spending years” on his appeal — which successfully caused a California appellate court to overturn Barton’s jury conviction (the appellate court declared that the trial judge erred by dismissing one juror who reportedly refused to join jury deliberations). Jeffrey Barton stated in court, “They should be ashamed of themselves for going after a non-profit institute!” Barton was apparently offended that some of his alleged victims have filed civil suits against the schools where they were allegedly abused by Barton. (The alleged victims, now all grown men, were all young boys who attended three different schools around the USA where Barton worked at various times in his life.) Today, Jeffrey Barton seemed to blame news media for the attention his case received, saying, “When the press gets ahold of things, they grab it and civil suits happen!” He faulted the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper, Barton claimed they made “ridiculous” mistakes regarding which years he worked at which schools, and whether or not he was ever a soccer coach.
— December 6, 2021 3:13 p.m.

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