Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Guilty Plea of Former Marshall County Football Coach for Sexual Abuse

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, September 15, 2015  
Contact Information:  Leland Hulbert
Deputy Communications Director

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the guilty plea of the former Marshall County High School head football coach, 47-year-old Ronald E. Barnard.  Earlier today 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 De 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.

On June 4, 2014, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department arrested Barnard following a six-month investigation.  The charges stemmed from allegations of abuse involving a 15-year-old female student at the school.  Attorney General Conway’s Cybercrimes Unit examined multiple items of data from personal computer devices belonging to Barnard.  Barnard was subsequently indicted in May of 2015 for crimes involving another female Marshall County High School student, 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.   

“I appreciate the hard work of my Office of Special Prosecutions, my Cybercrimes unit and the Marshall County Sherriff’s Office for securing a guilty plea in this case,” Attorney General Conway said.  “These laws are in place to protect minors from abuse at the hands of adults they trust.”

For a photo of Barnard, please visit:

Barnard is scheduled for sentencing on November 5 in Marshall Circuit Court.  The total sentence agreed to by Barnard was seven years.  The Commonwealth will argue at sentencing that Barnard is not eligible for probation.  Barnard will also have to be on the sex offender registry for the next 20 years.