Barrett's child responsible for topless photo in PowerPoint presentation

A child in the home of State Rep. Matt Barrett (D-Amherst) is responsible for the photo of topless woman that appeared during a PowerPoint presentation on Tuesday. "Right now I'd like to keep this a family matter," Barrett said this morning when reached by cell phone. "It's a time for me to just be a dad."
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010


A child in the home of State Rep. Matt Barrett (D-Amherst) is responsible for the photo of topless woman that appeared during a PowerPoint presentation on Tuesday.

"Right now I'd like to keep this a family matter," Barrett said this morning when reached by cell phone. "It's a time for me to just be a dad."

He declined further comment, saying he wanted to "stick with" his prepared statement from the Ohio House Democratic Caucus.

"We want to put this behind us. From what we have learned thus far, this is an internal family matter. We would appreciate respect for our privacy as we deal with this situation," said communications director Phil Saken, while reading Barrett's statement.

Caucus sources were prohibited from disclosing the gender or age of the child responsible for the photos.

Barrett was explaining how a bill becomes law to one of three Norwalk High School senior social studies classes when the images unexpectedly appeared. The state lawmaker quickly unplugged the system, pulled out the memory stick and apologized to teacher Derek Pigman's students.

He did his presentation, but used the paperwork that was to be supplemented with the PowerPoint.

After Tuesday's incident, school officials contacted the Norwalk Police Department, which notified the state Highway Patrol because Barrett is a state representative. The politician said earlier he voluntarily handed the computer over to troopers and said he was "very concerned" about what happened.

Patrol spokesman Lt. Tony Bradshaw said authorities are analyzing the data stick and Barrett's computer. Troopers also had seized two school computers. As of Wednesday afternoon, Bradshaw didn't know what the timeline would be for results of the testing.

"None of that is state's property, so it's being handed back to Norwalk (police)," he said.

Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Todd Temple couldn't be reached for comment this morning.

Barrett has said it was the first time he had done his presentation on PowerPoint and decided to use it when he realized the equipment was available. Two school officials said Barrett didn't check the thumb drive beforehand.

He told the Associated Press he rarely used the stick, a gift he received about three weeks ago from a legislative liaison from the state library of Ohio.

NHS Principal Bob Duncan contacted all the parents after the incident. School officials plan to have future guest speakers' information previewed before they do a presentation.


RMD (Anonymous)

His loving family keeps Rep. Barrett focused on the important causes in the state. Barrett and his wife of 18 years, Wendy, have four children: Nick (12), Lauren (11), Patrick (9) and Sam (5).

Better monitor his computer a little better.

LuAnn Gatton (A...

This should be handled by law enforcement, if there is a criminal offense involved. Just because Mr. Barrett is a "State Offical", he should not get any special treatment.

Former NHS alum...

This incident did not hurt anyone, why raise such a big fuss? What teenager has not seen a quick peek at nudity? This definitely is not worth ruining a career over. The Barrett family needs to install and use monitoring software on the computers in the home. Lets hope that Norwalk and all schools have learned a lesson about presentations and how they are monitored. I work in a school system in upstate NY, with the best blocks, the kids always find a way to get around and see what they want. Remember that there are only so many eyes and that we cannot monitor our children 24/7. Give Rep. Barrett a break and give his family time to deal and learn from this mistake.

Father (Anonymous)

Whether his son did this or not, I really think it is deplorable that he would hang his son out to dry. We, as parents have an OBLIGATION to protect our children, not hold them out to public ridicule. If Matt Barrett will rat on his son to save his political skin, there is probably no depth to which he wouldn't stoop. Did he give any thought to how his son feels. My god!

what the? (Anon...

Hey Father, better loosen up your bible belt before it cuts off the circulation to your republican head.

? (Anonymous)

Um.....if is his son did it; why lie?

lag (Anonymous)

To the Former NHS Alumni person. IT IS OUR DUTY TO MONITOR OUR KIDS 24/7. THIS IS PARTLY WHAT THE PROBLEM IS TODAY WITH SOME OF THE KIDS. THEY ARE NOT BEING WATCHED 24/7. Mr. Barrett came to our school to teach something to our children, and yes Seniors are still children in some respect. Why wasn't he prepared. It could have been something worse. I hope this child gets the attention he is so desperately seeking. RED FLAGS ALL OVER.

creepy (Anonymous)

where exactly is the compter or the memory stick?

more creepy (An...

i've heard he has a large memory stick!

Re: more creepy...

Sister! He's impure!

VRO (Anonymous)

This makes front page news for Norwalk Public School but last year when my son was extremly ill due to being exposed to items he is allergic to by his techers, that stays hush hush. He could have died. Norwalks priorities are in the wrong place.

Preston Lewis (...

Too bad this story had to become such a big deal. It's normal for kids to be interested in sexual themes and want to hide their exploration from their parents. I seriously doubt any normal high school class would need counseling for a naked picture since it's almost certain they've already seen one. If there is a victim here, it's the kid who's name has already been added here, likeliest the oldest male, who now will endure teasing at school. At least it wasn't a naked man, the kid responsible would really have a hard time for years (unless it was one of the girls which is unlikely due to their age).

Elvis Preston (...

I agree with you, Mr. Lewis. I don't care who you are, every kid has a 'curious' age. He's perfectly normal, seems to me. I can't believe people are wanting this man to take the rap for what his PERFECTLY NORMAL kid did. He's a kid, people. He's NORMAL. Quit being such prudes and let it go! Don't shame the kid for wanting to know about one of life's greatest pleasures. Ya'll don't remember when you were 12 or 13? I was very curious, and when I asked questions, I was told "you'll find out when you're older." I turned out pretty normal, other than wasting my time on here, I got a normal life.

Chris (Anonymous)

I have not commented on this story yet, because I was waiting for the right time to say something that I would not regret - not because of what I would say but simply because I didn't want to say anything about something that I didn't know anything about. That being said, Dear Reflector: DROP IT! There are bigger tragedies in this world and small town than a group of 17 and 18 year olds seeing a nude photo for a second or two. To those concerned parents that feel that Rep Barrett has a problem child at home: the kid isn't a problem child, he's a normal adolescent that was curious which is no reason to rake him over the coals. In addition to that, the person that used the on the web screen name of 'Father', if his son did indeed load this picture on their home computer, why hide it? hiding it would just show the voters that he has something to hide and would give voters all the more reason to attack him. Coming out with the announcement that it came from home must have been a difficult decision but he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. As a public official, he made the decision that his private life is nothing to hide and he should be commended for that. Remember God asked Adam and Eve why they felt ashamed for being naked!!!

I know one thin...

I'm always ashamed when I'm naked. Thanks a lot, Adam and Eve.

swiss family......

i can't believe that this is being blown way out of shape! it was a mistake, an accident! and these were not 4th or 5th graders, they were seniors in high school, so i would think that they were at least 17 years old or so, so everyone relax,and treat it like an accident. if there would be a pattern of misconduct,where this happens over and over again,then there would be a problem,but that's not the case! it was an accident, so everyone please relax,and let it go

just wondering ...

would everyone be so critical if it had been a naked man his son had downloaded? Then I would say there might be some concern. So what, he's a normal young man. And how many men out there can honestly say at his age if given the oppertunity would not have had a peek also, come on lets be for real. It is unfortunate it ended up in public but we all need a good laugh sometimes. And all you women out there, big deal, a beautiful naked women, maybe just a little jealous because you can not take off your clothes and look that beautiful, admit it. I'm not afraid to admit it. So why say he is a problem child and put up the red flags, duh, grow up. At least it wasn't a picture of some junkie putting a needle in their arm or smoking a crack pipe. Then I would say, we need to help this young man. I don't think the father or son should apologize for the nude picture, maybe just for not being more careful so all those virgin eyes didn't get a first time look at a nude body, omg!

just wondering ...

I'll correct my spelling error before someone says I need spell check, duh, I forgot this was Huron county! "opportunity"

RE: just wonder...

LOL! I love your spelling comment!

JEF (Anonymous)

Good thing that Rep. Barrett is a Democrat, they tend to get a pass on sexual "faux pas." Had this incident been committed by a Republican, I'd wager the media would not have been so forgiving.

Re: JEF (Anonymous)

Maybe... but had it been a Republican, most likely it would have been one of the ultra conservative, traditional family values, anti gay marriage, flag waving types that seem to have an affinity for small boys, high school pages, or fellating your typical tired commuter in a public bathroom stall. Dem's are pretty much of male on female, consensual, of age type sexual activities. You know, the traditional type.

just wondering ...

To Re:JEF---great! Couldn't have said it better myself.

swiss family......

"JEF" you must be kidding, how can you even compare a simple mistake,made on a computer, with someone making unwanted advances toward underage pages, or illiciting bathroom sex in an airport? it is all about intent here, and a mistake is simply a mistake, something doesn't become a mistake, just because they happen to get caught!that seems to be the republican style.but this is not about party lines, it is about intent,comeon "JEF" see the big picture here, and be an american first , and a republican secondly

Spinderella (An...

Right on JEF. Like I said, swiss family wouldn't be bringing up all the 'dirt' if your comment wasn't true. I think you hit a nerve...

JEF (Anonymous)

If Rep. Barrett were a teacher or a common citizen would he and his family soon be receiving a home visit from a govt. family services professional? Is there a double standard in effect? Call me cynical, but a warning bell goes off when a politician (or a suspected scam artist)utters, 'Trust me.' Perhaps the occurance was a 'Freudian slip?' Nah! Let's just trust him.

JEF (Anonymous)

According to Rep. Barrett's statement: '...this is an internal family matter. We would appreciate respect for our privacy as we deal with this situation.' How often do child abusers hide behind or use lines like, 'internal family matter,' and 'respect our privacy'? A full investigation of the home life of Rep. Barrett's family by the proper authorities is warranted.

what the? (Anon...

I'll also ask.. JEF, are you kidding? Are you actually making some kind of a backhanded allegation that Barrett is a child abuser? Are you nuts? With this kind of crap it's no wonder people don't wnat to run for public office.

I call BS (Anon...

He is no longer a private citizen. He is an elected public official. Bottom line is, he should be investigated just and it is public info. If it were a teacher or Joe Average, there would be charges/loss of job/finances.

Why should he be given special treatment? He knew when he took to the campaign trail that his life and all aspects of it became public.

Reply to I call...

It was boobs, for crying out loud! It wasn't a porno movie, it was a 2 seecond flash of some titties. Who has not seen those on T.V. every time you turn it on. You are a prude, obviously. Get over it and shut up!

And another thi...