A former janitor at a City of Industry middle school accused of sexually abusing 10 girls on campus was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Michael Anthony Barry, 60, of La Puente pleaded “no contest” on Nov. 8 to five counts of lewd acts upon a child, five misdemeanor counts of child molesting and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the DA’s office said in a news release.
Barry had been employed at Torch Middle School within Bassett Unified School District for 16 years before he was arrested on July 6, 2017.
The victims ranged from 10 to 12 years old, prosecutors said. Initially, the DA’s office had said there were eight victims, but two more were adding during the course of the case, a DA’s office spokesman said.
The earliest reported cases of sexual abuse date back to August 2016, while reported molestation cases date back to August 2014, according to the DA’s office.
The abuses occurred on campus and during school hours, L.A. County sheriff’s Lt. Todd Deeds said last year, when Barry was arrested.
“He would do things like offer them candy, and just be very kind to them,” Deeds said.
Shortly after the first victim came forward in May 2017, detectives discovered more victims and Barry turned himself in, according to the lieutenant.
In the United States, approximately one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control.