A former janitor at a California middle school was sentenced to 14 years in a state prison for molesting 10 students after gaining their trust with candy.
Michael Anthony Barry, a former employee of Torch Middle School in City of Industry, California, admitted to sexually abusing 10 different girls, who ranged in age from 10 to 12. While some were abused between Aug. 2016 and May 2017, one victim was molested from Aug. 2014 to June 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
The 60-year-old ex-janitor pleaded no contest on Nov. 8 to five felony counts of lewd act upon a child, five misdemeanor counts of child molesting and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
He reportedly lured the victims with kindness and candy.
“Mr. Barry, he 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,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Todd Deeds told reporters last year, according to local reports.
The abuse reportedly happened both on school grounds and during school hours. The families of the victims announced that they've filed a lawsuit against the school district on Thursday, according to KABC in Los Angeles.
Barry worked at the school for 14 years before he was arrested in July of last year, KTLA reports. The first victim came forward last May.
[Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.