Former Aiken Prep student comes forth as victim in molestation case
At least one individual with local ties has claimed he was a victim of a former boarding school administrator accused of child molestation.
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior confirmed in a voicemail on Monday that someone who attended Aiken Preparatory School between the years of 1983 to 1985 has stepped forward as a victim since the Oct. 17 arrest of 55-year-old Jeffrey Barton, who worked at the institution at that time.
Prior said in the voicemail that there are five other “uncharged victims,” including the one from Aiken, meaning no charges have been filed against Barton at this time in connection to those individuals.
Calls to get an exact date on when this individual contacted investigators and for more information on the case itself were not returned by Prior before press time.
Bob Harrington, headmaster emeritus for Aiken Prep, said the school had no indication of any problems with Barton. Harrington added that if any inappropriate behavior had occurred, he truly wishes it had been reported 30 years ago.
Barton was apprehended and charged with 14 counts of oral copulation by force and two counts of sodomy by force by the Carlsbad Police Department in California. He remains in the Vista Detention Facility in San Diego under a $3 million bond.
Those charges stem from allegations from two students who attended the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, Calif., in which Barton served as a former administrator from 1995 to 2013.
Barton also taught at the McCallie Private Boys Boarding School and Day School in Chattanooga, according to other media reports.
Barton has no record with the Aiken County Clerk of Court or the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
An investigation by Carlsbad police began in June after a victim, now an adult, reported past sexual abuse by Barton, according to a statement. The investigation is ongoing, and victims and witnesses are encouraged to call the Carlsbad police hotline at 760-931-2276.
Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. She is a native of Rustburg, Va. and a graduate of Randolph Macon Woman's College.