NewsCovering Colorado


Mistrial declared in former Manitou Springs High School teacher sexual assault case

Former teacher and soccer coach Matthew Barton's sexual assault case declared a mistrial
Manitou Springs Police Department
Posted at 2:40 PM, Oct 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-20 00:23:56-04

Former Manitou Springs High School teacher and soccer coach Matthew Barton, who was accused of sexual assault, was granted a mistrial, according to Colorado's 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office Director of Communications, Howard Black.

Mr. Barton who is 53, was accused of assaulting a then 16-year-old student during 2009 and 2010. The victim in the case testified last week, stating that she was involved with Barton about once a week during that time.

Closing arguments in the case were presented yesterday morning before the case was released by Judge Eric Bentley around 5 p.m. after a verdict wasn't reached by the jury.

On Tuesday, Jessica McCarville, the prosecuting attorney stated that a minor cannot consent to an adult, and that text messages between the victim and Barton had a "high volume" during that time.

Claims were made against Barton in 2010, which caused a stoppage in messaging when former Manitou Springs police officer Mark Gillis investigated.

According to McCarville, Barton was suspended for a few days in 2009 for texting two other teenagers that year. One of those then-teenagers testified on Friday, stating that Barton was helping her through an important part of her life at the time and that Mr. Barton was not trying to pursue her.

Cindy Hyatt, Barton's defense attorney closing argument stated that Mr. Barton was a teacher who cared deeply about his students.

Barton was arrested on Jan. 10, but was released on an $80,000 bond. Mr. Barton was facing either a mandatory 8 to 24-year sentence, or life in prison, before the mistrial decision was made, according to Black.

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