A former middle school janitor was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison for inappropriately touching eight girls on the campus where he worked in the City of Industry.
Michael Anthony Barry, 60, of La Puente, was also ordered to register as a sex offender, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Barry pleaded no contest Nov. 8 to five felony counts of lewd acts on a child, five misdemeanor counts of child molesting and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The crimes — involving girls ranging in age from 10 to 12 — occurred at Torch Middle School between August 2014 and June 2015, and August 2016 and May 2017, according to Deputy District Attorney Babette Huley.
At a news conference last year after Barry’s arrest, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Todd Deeds of the Special Victims Bureau told reporters that Barry “would befriend the victims and be very nice to the victims, and he would do things like offer them candy and just be very kind to them, and he gained their trust as a result.”
In a statement released after Barry’s arrest, Bassett Unified School District’s superintendent, Debra French, said there were “complaints that he made inappropriate physical advances toward students.”
“Upon learning about the behavior, Bassett Unified immediately contacted the Department of Children and Family Services and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who conducted an investigation. Bassett Unified has a zero-tolerance policy for acts of any kind that put our students in danger …,” she said.
The custodian was initially arrested in June 2017 at his home and released on bond. Barry — who has no prior criminal history — surrendered the following month after learning that criminal charges had been filed against him, Deeds said. He has remained behind bars since then, according to jail records.
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