Former Randolph principal sentenced for sexually exploiting teen

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 9:57 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHELSEA, Vt. (WCAX) - A former Vermont high school principal accused of grooming and molesting a 16-year-old student has learned his fate.

David Barnett, who was the principal at Randolph Union High School, took a plea agreement.

Under the deal, Barnett will spend one month in jail and can no longer work as an educator.

The former principal was arrested in 2017 after two women accused him of misconduct while they attended the school, nearly a decade before.

The victim, now 25, told the judge that she was groomed by her principal whom she once trusted as a “father figure.”

In court Wednesday, Barnett pleaded no contest to sexually exploiting a minor.

Under the terms of his agreement, Barnett will serve only one month of the original nine months to one year, which many people in town told me is not enough time.

“I don’t think it’s sufficient. I’d like to see more,” said Ron Kovanic of Randolph. “I understand why they do that sometimes with prison crowding, but if anybody deserves more time, this guy probably does.”

In a statement, Orange Southwest Unified School District Superintendent Layne Millington said, “Anyone who is afforded the incredibly rewarding role of shaping children is given a sacred trust; anyone who violates that trust should face monumental consequences.”

A letter addressed to the school community says middle and high school students now take classes addressing this topic and teachers and staff are being provided with further training.

Related Stories:

Ex-principal convicted of sexually exploiting student

Former Randolph principal denies sex charges

Former Randolph principal faces sexual exploitation charges

Randolph co-principal accused of misconduct

Copyright 2021 WCAX. All rights reserved.