BOONE, Iowa—A Boone County District Court jury found a Marshalltown man guilty of multiple counts of sex abuse. The trial was held this week. The Boone County Attorney’s Office released this information Friday afternoon.
On February 17, 2017, a Boone County jury found, Ryan Christopher Barnhardt, 38, of Marshalltown, Iowa, guilty of seven (7) counts of Sex Abuse in the 2nd Degree and three (3) counts Sex Abuse in the 3rd Degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 709.3(1)(b) and 709.4(1)(b), respectively. Ryan Christopher Barnhardt faces up to 205 years in prison with the Iowa Department of Corrections.
According to the testimony at trial, officers with the Boone Police Department received a report of Ryan Barnhardt previously committing sex abuse on a child. The Boone Police Department investigated the case and found four other victims of sex abuse. Of the total of five victims, three were under the age of 12. All the victims testified in court stating that Ryan Barnhardt committed sex abuse upon them over the period of five years. Several Michigan State Troopers and the Michigan State Computer Crimes Unit testified in this case. While assisting with Boone Police Department on this case, Michigan State Troopers found a thumbdrive belonging to Ryan Barnhardt. Ryan Barnhardt’s thumbdrive contained videos of Ryan Barnhardt performing sex acts on a child. The defense claimed that all the kids were making up the allegations and they were suggested to make these claims by their parents to get back at Ryan Barnhardt. The State refuted these claims with the evidence and an expert from the Child Protection Center rebutting the myths about sex abuse.
The jury trial began on February 14, 2017, and ended on February 17, 2017, with the jury finding Ryan Christopher Barnhardt guilty of seven counts of Sex Abuse in the 2nd Degree which are Class B-felonies and guilty of three counts of Sex Abuse in the 3rd Degree which are Class C felonies. A sentencing hearing is scheduled at the Boone District Court on March 24, 2017. As a result of the convictions Ryan Christopher Barnhardt faces up to 205 years in state prison with a mandatory minimum 119 years before being eligible for parole.
Boone County Attorney, Daniel Kolacia and Assistant Iowa Attorney General Susan Krisko tried the case on behalf of the State of Iowa for the prosecution. The Boone Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the Boone Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police.
(contributed article and photo, Boone County Attorney’s Office)