A former student activities director at McCallie School pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing students after charges were brought against him in California.
Jeffrey Barton, 55, worked at McCallie from 1988 to 1993, when he was fired, said Billy Faires, director of communications for the school. McCallie notified parents by email Thursday morning of the charges.
Barton faces charges including two counts of sodomy and 14 counts of oral copulation by force.
The accusations come from seven men who were students under Barton's supervision, including a man who said he was an eighth-grader at McCallie in 1993 when Barton fondled him.
The student reported the incident to McCallie at the time. Officials responded by contacting child protective services. Barton was suspended and eventually terminated.
"Ultimately, and due to reasons beyond the school's control, charges were not filed against Mr. Barton. The school, however, proceeded to terminate Mr. Barton's employment. At the time, McCallie fully and proactively cooperated with local authorities," Faires said in an email to the Times Free Press. "More recently, we have been cooperating with the California authorities in the ongoing hope that justice will be served."
A prosecutor in Vista, Calif., told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Barton sued McCallie for wrongful termination, which ended in a settlement and an agreement that the school would reply "no comment" if ever asked about Barton getting fired. He omitted the school from his resume, the prosecutor told the newspaper.
Accusations made in the criminal case also involve two students at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, Calif., from 1997 to 2001, while Barton was head of the school. Another man said he was molested by Barton as a teenage cadet in a South Carolina school in 1983.
Barton's attorney told the Union-Tribune that Barton wants his day in court.
Barton resigned in June from Army and Navy Academy. He began working there in 1995. Previously he worked at Aiken Preparatory School in Aiken, S.C., from 1983 to 1985.
The Union-Tribune reported that Barton was arrested Oct. 17 and remains in jail on a $3 million bond.