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Wayne Barton tells reporter ‘look little girl, stay in your lane’ in response to open gang rape case at his center

Almost a year after an FAU student said she was gang raped at the Wayne Barton Study Center, the owner told a UP reporter there was “no crime” and that she should “let this go.”

The+Wayne+Barton+Study+Center+%5Bvia+Google+Maps%5D
The Wayne Barton Study Center [via Google Maps]

The Wayne Barton Study Center [via Google Maps]

The Wayne Barton Study Center [via Google Maps]

Emily Bloch, Editor-in-Chief

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Almost a year ago, a party unfolded at the Wayne Barton Study Center, less than two miles away from Florida Atlantic’s Boca Raton campus. Boca Police responded to a call the next day from an FAU student who said she was gang raped at the event.

Now, the party’s scheduled to happen again. But when the University Press asked the former police officer who runs the self-named study center if things will be different this year, he shut her down.

Wayne Barton who founded the privately owned center that lists more than 50 individuals and companies as sponsors, told the UP reporter, “look little girl[,] please stay in your lane.” The full email exchange can be found below.

Photo of Wayne Barton, founder of the Wayne Barton Study Center. [Photo via Wayne Barton Study Center website]

Photo of Wayne Barton, founder of the Wayne Barton Study Center. [Photo via Wayne Barton Study Center website]

Despite the Boca Raton Police Department confirming that the case is still open 11 months later, Barton stated in his email to the UP this week that “[sic] there were no witness or suspects (NO CRIME)in this incident.”

However when asked about the gang rape by local NBC affiliate WPTV last May, Barton said “It’s very sad to hear it had occurred, it hurt me to my heart.”

Barton continued his email, telling the reporter that she should focus on events going on in her own backyard and to “let this matter go.”

In the late hours of April 11, 2015, the South Florida Spill — an after party for FAU’s annual Sunshine State Classic Step Show — was held at the Wayne Barton Study Center. This was the study center’s fourth consecutive year as the party’s venue.

The 25,000-square-foot study center opened in 2002 and hosts mentoring and tutoring programs throughout the week.

According to the study center’s website, its purpose is to “enhance the health, welfare and education of children in need in our community.”

The South Florida Spill took place in the study center’s gymnasium, after Barton rented the space out to the party’s organizers. Tickets — $30 pre-sale or $40 at the door bought attendees access to all-you-can-drink liquor for the night.

According to a news release from the Boca Raton Police — which Barton worked for and ultimately filed a racism lawsuit against its chief —  some time after 2 a.m., a female FAU student was pulled behind a curtain at the party and gang raped.

“The victim left the stage, went outside and found a friend who brought her back to her dorm room at FAU,” the Boca Raton police said.

In days following the news release, despite multiple attempts, the UP could not reach Barton for comment.

Last year, police officers handled traffic outside and a private company took care of inside surveillance.

Wanting to know if anything would be different regarding security if the event were to happen at the study center again this year, the UP reached out to Barton through an administrative email listed on the center’s website.

You can see the email from the UP reporter below.  

 

Emily Bloch's email to Wayne Barton

Barton responded the following day and criticized the UP’s reporting — telling the reporter she should “find something more productive to do” with her time.

You can see Barton’s full email response below.

Wayne Barton to Bloch

The following email from Barton is unedited:

Emily Bloch of F.A.U’s University Press why don’t you find something more productive to do with your time. You are really making FAU look bad and wasting good man power hours you could be doing something else ,with your time. There were no witness or suspects (NO CRIME)in this incident.

Why can’t you let this matter go. Why don’t you report on the following FAU cops speeding and committing traffic violations on and off campus, in unmarked vehicle. Report on the raising casing of H.I.V . cases of students on campus. Students shooting each other. Theft of employee’s  in your different departments. Should, I continue on. If so I have a lot more of this information. There is so much stuff going on ,in your own back yard. Look little girl please  stay in your lane.

If you attended last year’s South Florida Spill and want to share your experience, please email universitypress@gmail.com.

Emily Bloch  is the Editor in Chief for the University Press. If you would like to contact her regarding this or other articles, email her at emdrumss3@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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