City of Industry middle school janitor arrested on suspicion of molesting female students

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities believe there may be more victims out there after a janitor was arrested on suspicion of molesting female students at a City of Industry middle school.

Michael Anthony Barry, 58, sat in a jail cell Thursday after working at Torch Middle School for 16 years.

"The suspect is being accused of inappropriate touching with female victims. Our female victims range in age from 11 to 14 years old," L.A. County sheriff's Lt. Todd Deeds said.

The suspected lewd acts happened on campus during school hours between August 2016 and May 2017. Authorities said eight victims came forward.

"Mr. Barry, he would befriend the victims and be very nice to the victims. He would do things like offer them candy and just be very kind to them," Deeds said.

Barry turned himself in and was arrested July 6 after he learned charges were filed against him.

Detectives said they don't know how he got away with it or if anyone at the school suspected anything. School officials notified parents after the first two victims contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

A neighbor stopped by the school after hearing about the case.

"I know that the school district is probably doing a good job trying to stay on top of things, but this community should be just as outraged as I am, and I live right around the corner," Basil Kimbrew said.

Authorities said they don't know of any other schools where Barry worked other than Torch Middle School.

Barry's bail is set at a little more than $1.5 million.

Anyone with more information was urged to call the L.A. County Sheriff's Department at (877) 710-5273.
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