Official Reponds to Criticism over Barnard Case
By West Kentucky Star Staff

Following Former Marshall County High School Head Football Coach Ron Barnard's arrest on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor for his alleged involvement with a 15-year-old student, Assistant Marshall County Attorney Jason Darnall says school officials handled the situation properly.

Darnall released the following statement on Friday in response to criticism from some via social media that school officials may not have acted quickly enough in investigating the situation:

"I have read several criticisms on social media directed toward Superintendent Trent Lovett and other Marshall County Board of Education officials regarding the investigation of Ron Barnard. Various individuals appear to have assumed, incorrectly, that Mr. Lovett and the Board sat on evidence for six months before initiating any formal action.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The acts on the part of Mr. Barnard that led to his arrest on these charges occurred between June 2-4, 2014. Lt. Detective Matt Hilbrecht then immediately sought and obtained a warrant through our office. Similarly, at this same time, Mr. Lovett initiated prompt disciplinary action on his part through the appropriate channels. Despite close monitoring and investigation by various school and law enforcement officials, at no time prior to June 4th was there enough solid proof of wrongdoing to take any formal action.

Although rumors surrounding Mr. Barnard have been floating around over the past few months, mere speculation and conjecture do not constitute actionable evidence to support a criminal charge or a disciplinary proceeding."

Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars said Barnard’s arrest was the result of a six month investigation. He said detectives opened the investigation after being contacted by the school in December of last year.

Barnard resigned in February after serving as the Marshals’ head coach for four seasons. It is not clear if his resignation had anything to do with the investigation. 

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Published 02:35 PM, Friday Jun. 06, 2014
Updated 03:49 PM, Saturday Jun. 07, 2014

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