Army Headmaster Center of Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed by Cadet
A civil suit was brought by a former cadet against Jeffrey Barton alleging he was sexually abused by the headmaster at a school in Carlsbad in 1999. The cadet said Barton laced a sandwich with a drug that rendered him unconscious and sodomized him in a campus bathroom when he was in ninth grade. The Army and Navy Academy agreed to pay $1.75 million.
Last year, Barton, now 60, was sentenced to 49 years in prison for repeatedly molesting a different cadet between 1999 and 2001, both on campus and during out-of-town escapades. That victim said the abuse started when he was just 14, too. Although he didn’t disclose the crime until 2013, the prosecution introduced evidence including the testimony of other accusers who alleged inappropriate conduct by Barton dating back many years at other schools in other states.
Attorney Vince Finaldi said the former student at the center of the criminal trial also filed a civil lawsuit against Barton and the Army and Navy Academy. Barton did not face charges in connection with allegations noted in the recently settled lawsuit.
“This settlement represents additional evidence of the dark history of sexual abuse that has existed at the Army and Navy Academy for many years,” said Finaldi. “It is time for this institution to end its culture of abuse, protect the children entrusted to its care and stop defending the abusers in their employ.”
Finaldi added, “Bottom line is the academy knew about abuse and other problems for a number of decades. The administration did its best to keep it under wraps, but these victims didn’t have that option. They may have been able to bottle it up for a number of years and pretend that it went away. It never does. It festers inside…The other thing is you have a military boarding school that is completely unregulated. They don’t have to follow the education code. Instead, they flaunt the fact that the academy is a century old and has this tradition. Then you have a high number of students that may have had behavioral issues or problems with the law. They generally are the easiest prey. It’s ripe for abuse and nothing will change unless this all comes out.”
“The incidents referenced in the lawsuit occurred more than 17 years ago — well before the Academy’s current administration and Board of Trustees assumed their management and oversight responsibilities and prior to the Academy substantially upgrading its campus-wide security system and procedures,” school officials replied. They said they are confident there are resources now in place to ensure the safety of their students.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi also represented another former Army and Navy Academy cadet who alleged he was sexually abused by an employee in 2006. A jury awarded the former student nearly $1.9 million after finding the school had been negligent in supervising the conduct of Juan Munoz. The victim said Munoz gave him alcohol then molested him.
An arrest warrant was issued for Munoz in 2010 after allegations involving other students were disclosed. Those charges were dismissed in 2012 when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In the civil case, the jury found Munoz liable for sexual battery and sexual harassment. Barton was headmaster when Munoz’s alleged assaults occurred.