VACAVILLE — Police confirmed Wednesday that they are investigating allegations of sexual abuse involving a former Will C. Wood High School teacher.
Sgt. Chris Polen said the department has been investigating David Barthelmess, who recently retired after 23 years as Wood’s choir director, since March. He provided few details.
“I can confirm that we do have an open investigation (into David Barthelmess) and that we have worked closely with the school district’s administration on this case,” Polen said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Barthelmess, reached by phone Wednesday, did not respond directly to the allegations.
“At this point in time I have nothing to say,” he said.
Polen said the allegations of sexual abuse were brought to the Police Department by the school district. He wouldn’t say whether the allegations involve students or when the alleged abuse occurred. Polen declined to provide any detailed information. The investigation remained open and police were still working on it, he said.
“There are several reasons why a case remains open or we close it,” Polen said. “There could be a lack of evidence or by arrest, or the statute or limitations. There are a variety of different reasons.”
He didn’t say how long the investigation could take.
New Vacaville School District Superintendent Ken Jacopetti said the issue is a personnel matter, “and confidentiality comes into play,” he said.
“From the district perspective, our stance is that he’s resigned from the district,” Jacopetti said Wednesday. “He said he’s retiring for health reasons. That’s the stance of where we’re at right now.”
Barthelmess, 68, has been actively involved in the local arts scene for decades. He was particularly active in youth choir activities, founding the Wood Sylvan Tintinnabulists.
He is nominated for an Arty Award this year for Wood’s production of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Barthelmess announced his retirement as school began last week.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.