A former teacher’s aide at View Ridge Middle School has entered a not guilty plea for charges of sexual communication with a 13-year-old student.
On Nov. 16, Mason Barry, 18, was arraigned in Clark County Superior Court on two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Following the not guilty pleas, Barry had a readiness hearing set for his trial Feb. 10, 2022.
According to a probable cause affidavit for Barry’s arrest, Ridgefield police first responded to an alleged inappropriate relationship between Barry and the student on Feb. 6. A relative of the victim had discovered the victim and a friend discussing the relationship on the victim’s phone.
A few days earlier, the victim had gotten home from school and searched for Barry’s social media, according to the affidavit. Barry had told the victim to keep the conversation on Snapchat in particular “because he didn’t want to get in trouble.”
Initially the conversation was casual but a few days later “the conversation turned sexual in nature,” the affidavit stated. The victim said the conversation made her uncomfortable but she didn’t want to seem “(u)ncool.”
Despite the discomfort, the victim sent explicit photos to Barry after he asked, according to the affidavit. After that conversation, the victim did not have further communication with Barry.
The day after the police were notified Barry was interviewed at his residence, according to the affidavit. During the interview, Barry admitted to receiving sexually explicit photos from the victim and said he realized he made a mistake.
Barry has since left the position he held at the school district. Barry resigned in February, Ridgefield School District’s communications manager Joe Vajgrt said in an email.
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