Suffolk County police arrested a Brentwood middle school teacher Friday on charges he had sexual contact with a former student.
Thomas Barton, 54, was arrested by Special Victims Section and Computer Crimes Unit detectives at his Medford home at 4:45 p.m. He has been charged with rape, criminal sex act and endangering the welfare of a child, police said in a release.
The former student is a 16-year-old girl, a police spokesman said. In the release, police accused Barton of engaging in an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with her. The spokesman would not say how police learned of the relationship.
The spokesman said that Barton, who works at North Middle School, was a physical education teacher. School board meeting minutes from 2018 list Barton as a North Middle School wrestling coach.
In a statement emailed by a representative, Brentwood schools Superintendent Richard Loeschner said, "The employee has been administratively reassigned from his job responsibilities and is prohibited from entering school grounds."
District officials are cooperating with the police investigation, Loeschner said. "The safety of our students is our top priority," he said.
A district representative said Barton had worked at the district for about 30 years.
Barton was arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip and pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of rape. Suffolk County Judge John Schettino ordered him held on $40,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond and issued an order of protection barring contact with the victim in the case. He is set to return to court Thursday.
Detectives are asking anyone with information on the matter to contact the Special Victims Section at 631-852-6531 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight.