Former high school football coach Ron Barnard has agreed to spend seven years in prison.
Barnard taught at several local schools —most recently Marshall County High School. Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to six charges relating to sending and receiving obscene images from two students: one 15 and the other 17.
The sentence isn’t official yet. He has to go through sentencing. We’ve been following this case since he was first arrested in June of 2014 on three counts involving a 15 year old.
The sheriff’s office was first tipped off about Barnard in December of 2013. One charge was dropped relating to soliciting a minor, because his attorney believed that it was covered by other charges. Judge Clymer also made it clear that the language of the charges aren’t exclusive to Barnard sending and receiving explicit photos with minors, but that he was also a person of authority over them, a teacher.
Last January, Judge Craig Clymer ordered a pre-trial, but it wasn’t until Apple released Barnard’s iPad photos with another victim on May 1 that more charges were filed. Barnard is charged with using electronic means to engage in sexual activity with a minor, sex abuse, distribution of obscene material, prohibited use of electronic communications with a minor, having material of sexual performance by a minor, and promoting sexual performance of a minor.
The special prosecutor in the case says the families of the victims are satisfied with the plea.
In addition to seven years in prison, Barnard will be placed on the sex offender registry. He’ll be on that list for 20 years. Barnard is expected to be officially sentenced on Nov. 5.