JAY, Okla. – District Judge Jennifer McAffrey dismissed a child sexual abuse charge against a Delaware County man on Monday after prosecutors failed to provide background information to his attorneys.
Christopher Barton, 50, of Rose, appeared in Delaware County District Court for the first day of trial. Prior to impaneling a jury, McAffrey dismissed the child sexual abuse charge against Barton with prejudice, meaning the state cannot refile charges against him.
Potential jurors were not allowed in the courtroom while McAffrey heard arguments from prosecutor Clint Ward and Jeremy Bennett, Barton’s attorney.
The gist of the arguments centered on whether background checks of the state’s witnesses they planned to use at trial had been provided to Barton’s legal team.
Ward asked for a continuance to determine if the evidence had been produced by former prosecutors or provided to Barton’s former attorneys.
Ken Gallon, Barton’s attorney, orally made a motion to dismiss the case because prosecutors did not comply with discovery requirements and produced evidence on the morning of the trial.
Before dismissing the case, McCaffrey reminded the attorneys that the case against Barton was three years old and had already been granted a continuance due to the court’s schedule.
Charges were initially filed according to an arrest affidavit three years ago when Barton reportedly confessed to former Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies of sexually abusing the then 14-year-old girl.
When Barton allegedly confessed a second Delaware County Deputy overheard him say “he had molested a child and wanted to turn himself in for it,” the affidavit states.
Reportedly a weeping Barton told his wife he had “inappropriately touched” the victim and he had “ruined their entire family,” the affidavit states.
Amy Barton filed for a protective order against her husband in a related case. The protective order was dismissed in August 2020, two weeks after Barton’s confession, according to court records.
The victim told investigators the alleged abuse started in 2017. Barton allegedly blackmailed the victim several times with television privileges in exchange for the sexual abuse encounters, the affidavit states.