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Carlsbad military school ex-dean found guilty of molesting student

Jeffrey Barton

Jeffrey Barton in Vista Superior Court

VISTA, Calif. – A former head of school at a Carlsbad military school was convicted Monday of molesting a cadet over a two-year period, beginning when he was a ninth-grader in 1999.

A jury convicted 59-year-old Jeffrey Barton of six felony counts of oral copulation but acquitted him of six other identical charges.

The defendant faces 48 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 1.

Nineteen months ago, a different jury deadlocked on the charges involving the former cadet at the Army and Navy Academy, where Barton was the head of school.

Two other former Army and Navy students testified in the first trial that they were molested by Barton, but the defendant was acquitted on those charges.

In the retrial, Deputy District Attorney Patricia Lavermicocca told the jury that Barton repeatedly abused the former cadet and used his position of power to isolate and groom the victim with gifts and special attention.

The prosecutor said the victim felt that no one would believe that Barton molested him on campus and on out-of-town trips because the defendant was a respected school official.

Defense attorney Sherry Stone said the victim waited years before accusing Barton and has filed a lawsuit against the defendant.