Former Marshall County head football coach pleads not guilty on new charges

Marshall County District Judge Jack Telle entered a not guilty plea on Ron E. Barnard’s behalf Monday for three new charges involving a new minor. Barnard was previously arrested last June on similar charges regarding a 15-year-old.

Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars said the victim was a 17-year-old female Marshall County High School student at the time. Byars tells Local 6 the new charges stem from pictures that were taken on Barnard’s personal electronic devices. Last June detectives seized Barnard’s phone and iPad but were not able to open the devices because they were password protected.

Marshall County Detective Matt Hilbrecht said they obtained court orders last August so they could send it to Apple in California to unlock it. He said that process can take a long time because there’s a line of people with similar situations.

“Basically, you’re at their mercy to wait until they call you and say ‘We are ready to look at your iPad.’ and then you ship it to them, they extract the data, and then they send it back to you,” Hilbrecht said.

Hilbrecht said Apple takes all the data from the iPad and puts it on a thumb drive. The Attorney General Cyber Crimes Branch received it last month, went through it, and found those new photos from a possible second victim. Hilbrecht got a disk of the photos May 1 and spoke to the victim before any new charges were issued.

On Friday the former Marshall County head football coach was arrested on new charges involving a minor, according to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office.

Barnard was charged with possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, promoting a sexual performance by a minor under 18, and unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities.

Hilbrecht said the student told him Barnard was her teacher and befriended her after a break-up. He said she admitted Barnard had her make a fake twitter account so they could talk. Three days later, she said he asked her to send nude photos.

The warrant shows she sent him several photos wearing a Marshall County Football T-shirt and panties that partially exposed her. The warrant also shows he asked to have sex with her, but she said no.

“Certainly the facts of the case will substantiate that he is a predator of teenage girls, and I believe justice will be served,” Hilbrecht said.

The sheriff’s office says it anticipates new charges will be presented at the next grand jury session on Thursday, May 14. His preliminary hearing is set for May 27.

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