Fern Creek High teacher accused of sex abuse: 'I knew I made a horrible mistake'
"And (as) weird as it sounds, it’s almost kind of relieving that I’m in trouble – now I feel that I don’t have to hide. I know I made a horrible, horrible mistake and I’m not lying about it anymore.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Fern Creek High School teacher charged with sexual abuse admitted to kissing and touching the private areas of a former student, starting when she was 16 years old, according to court documents released this week.
Samuel Barrett, 27, was arrested at his home on Feb. 20 and has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual abuse, using electronics to entice a minor and distributing obscene matter to minors.
According to court documents, Barrett was the victim's teacher when she was a freshman at Fern Creek, but the alleged inappropriate relationship occurred between February and April of 2015.
"The relationship began with text messages and progressed into kissing and eventually sexual touching," the court filing states. "The defendant also had the victim send him nude photos of herself during this same time period and he sent her pictures."
In a two-hour interview with Louisville Metro Police Det. Stacey Roby, Barrett admitted the relationship began with text messages and progressed into physical contact, saying he touched the student numerous times and that the two sent and received nude photographs.
"We said if we were going to engage in some sort type of relationship like that, it would be after she graduated high school," Barrett told Roby. "She was set in that and I was supportive of that."
But things progressed while she was still a student at Fern Creek, Barrett said.
"Clearly you all had a relationship...it crossed lines," Roby asked Barrett.
"Yes," Barrett responded.
Barrett also admitted he knew the girl's age.
"You knew how old she was at the time?" Roby asked Barrett.
"16," Barrett replied.
"Is 16 when the pics started...clearly (she was) under 18, do you agree with that?" Roby asked him.
"Yes, ma'am," Barrett replied.
It wasn't until February 2016 that the girl contacted Barrett again, according to text messages and recorded phone calls that were included in the court file.
In one of the recorded conversations with the girl, Barrett said: "That day when we were together, and we almost went too far...when I went home that night...I had gone too far."
"I made a huge mistake. We made a mistake. That doesn't mean we regret it, that means we have to move forward, that means we have to figure out how to move on our life," he said.
Throughout the past year, Barrett said he had seen her a few times in the hallway at Fern Creek, but the two didn't speak to each other.
"Honestly, when she contacted me this week, there was this feeling...I was like, it's gonna happen. I felt bad...it's been a miserable year," he told Roby on Feb. 20.
Roby asked Barrett, who says he has been married for a year and a half, what he meant by the past year being "miserable."
"After our situation happened, I knew I made a horrible mistake – the entire year I felt I was lying to everyone, hiding…and I hated that," Barrett said in his interview. "And (as) weird as it sounds, it’s almost kind of relieving that I’m in trouble – now I feel that I don’t have to hide. I know I made a horrible, horrible mistake and I’m not lying about it anymore.”
Roby asked if he was in love with the student.
"I think I little bit, yeah," Barrett said. "I mean, I was not using her, I wasn't playing her..which is also very upsetting because I love my wife. I never thought I would be a person that would...I've never cheated in my entire life until this moment. And I never thought I would do it in a situation like this, like why the f*ck would I do that...? I don't know, looking back, it's like, 'what was I doing?'"
Barrett also spoke about his concern for Fern Creek High School.
"How does this affect the school, I mean we just had the shooting a year ago," he asked.
"What do you mean, how does it affect the school?" Roby asked.
"Obviously this is going to be public information, right?" Barrett said.
"Uh huh," she replied. "Yeah, I mean, I'm going to contact their investigators to let them know what's going on because I'm not going to let them be blindsided."
A spokeswoman for Jefferson County Public Schools said Thursday that Barrett remains reassigned to non-instructional duties, pending the outcome of this case.
Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
Copyright 2015 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.