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Former Marshall County Football Coach Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes with Minor

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A former Marshall County high school football coach is pleading guilty to felony sex crimes with a minor.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office says prosecutors today secured a deal with 47-year-old Ronald Barnard to plead guilty on five felony counts stemming from the use of an electronic device to send obscene material to and procure sex with female students.  

Barnard pled guilty to:

1) Promoting a sexual performance by a minor under 18 years old, a class C felony.
2) Unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in a sexual performance, a class D felony. 
3) Sexual abuse in the first degree, a class D felony.
4) Prohibited use of electronic communications to procure a minor sexual offense, a class D felony.
5) Possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, a class D felony.
6) Distribution of obscene matter to a minor, a class A misdemeanor. 

Barnard was the former head football coach and a former teacher at Marshall County High School.  

He was arrested in June, 2014 by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department following a six-month investigation stemming from allegations made by a 15-year-old student.  

Barnard was later indicted in May, 2015 of crimes involving another female student at the school, who was 17 at the time.  The investigation led to the discovery of a fake Twitter account, set up by Barnard, to communicate with students and allow inappropriate pictures to be exchanged.   

Barnard is scheduled for sentencing in Marshall Circuit Court on November 5th.  

The plea deal would see Barnard spending seven years in prison. The Commonwealth Attorney will argue to refuse the eligibility of probation at sentencing. Barnard would also have to register as a sex offender for the next 20 years.

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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