An assistant teacher at a Kansas City private school has been charged with sexually molesting an 11-year-old student.
Jackson County prosecutors charged 53-year-old Tod A. Barnard with two counts of second-degree child molestation and two counts of third-degree assault.
Barnard, of Independence, was an assistant band teacher at St. Thomas More School in south Kansas City.
According to the allegations outlined in court documents, Barnard touched the girl inappropriately on several occasions by pretending to lose his balance and falling into her. The victim told interviewers that the first time it happened, he touched and grabbed her breast over her shirt.
She said the incidents continued to happen about once a week.
Court documents say the incidents occurred between Dec. 1 and earlier this month. The girl told investigators that Barnard would pretend to fall while setting up instruments for band class. She said the touching also occurred in a hallway during class.
In the first incident where he allegedly “clutched” her breast, Barnard smiled and said he was sorry, the girl said. At one point, the girl confronted Barnard about whether or not he really tripped. She said she told him that his actions made her feel uncomfortable.
Barnard was taken into custody Thursday, and he told detectives he remembered one time where he tripped and fell into the girl and the back of his hand touched her “somewhere on her body,” according to the court documents. He denied ever intentionally tripping or falling into her.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker praised school officials for immediately reporting the girl’s allegations.
Bond was set at $10,000, and Barnard remained in custody Friday. If he bonds out, he was ordered to have no contact with the victim or any other child under the age of 18 without court authorization.