He was a vice president at UNT Health Science Center. Now he's a sex offender

Stephen D. Barrett, 42, pleaded guilty on Oct. 23 to attempted indecency with a child by contact, a third-degree felony, in exchange for four years deferred adjudication probation.
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FORT WORTH -- Editor’s note: This story contains graphic descriptions.

A former UNT Health Science Center vice president accused of inappropriately touching his child’s 15-year-old babysitter in 2015 will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years following a plea deal reached in the case.

Stephen D. Barrett, 42, pleaded guilty on Oct. 23 to attempted indecency with a child by contact, a third-degree felony, in exchange for four years deferred adjudication probation.

Though a conviction will not show on his record if he successfully completes his probation, under Texas law, he will still be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

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“We always try to take into account the family’s wishes when a young person is involved, as to whether a child will have to testify,” said Samantha Jordan, a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.

“This plea required the defendant admit guilt, register as a sex offender for 10 years, and participate in a closely monitored sex offender counseling program and substance abuse evaluation.”

Barrett’s defense attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.

Barrett had been vice president of operations for the UNT Health Science Center since 2010.

He was fired on October 12, 2016, the same day that Fort Worth police arrested him on a warrant in the case. He was originally charged with indecency with a child/fondling, a second-degree felony.

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