Police: Teacher charged with rape for relationship with former student
Suffolk police say a middle school teacher is facing charges for using his position of power to have an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old former student.
Police arrested 54-year-old Thomas Barton Friday at his home in Medford. He is charged with rape and endangering the welfare of a child.
Suffolk police say Barton works at Brentwood North Middle School on Wicks Road. Neighbors tell News 12 that Barton works as a physical education teacher and wrestling coach.
Prosecutors say the inappropriate contact between Barton and that teenager started when the girl was 15. They say the relationship escalated quickly, and by the time the girl had turned 16 in June of last year, the pair allegedly started having sexual intercourse and oral sex.
In a statement, Brentwood School District says Barton has been administratively reassigned and is prohibited from entering school grounds. A district spokesperson says Barton has worked for the district for three decades.
Suffolk police say there could be more victims. Anyone with information is urged to call the Special Victims Section at 631-852-6531. Calls will be answered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until midnight.
Barton was ordered held on $220,000 bond at his arraignment Saturday in court in Central Islip.