BENTON - Marshall Circuit Judge Dennis Foust recused himself on Monday after the arraignment of former high school football coach Ron Barnard.
Foust told Barnard's Lexington attorney, Rawl Kazee, that he had always planned to recuse himself in the case and would only preside over the arraignment.
Foust said he would write an order of recusal after the proceeding, and a special judge would be brought in for the remainder of the case.
Foust's recusal was anticipated due to his involvement with Marshall County athletics.
Kazee had no objection to Foust presiding over the arraignment, waived formal arraignment of the charges and entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Barnard. Kazee asked Foust if the special judge would come to Marshall County for future hearings. Foust said he was not sure, but when he has served as a special judge he has traveled where the defendant is charged.
Barnard was indicted by a grand jury on July 24 on one count of solicitation of the use of a minor in a sexual performance, a felony; one count of use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities, a felony; one count of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony; and one count of distribution of obscene matter to minors, a misdemeanor.
The charges arose after the Marshall County Sheriff's Department obtained sexually explicit messages, photos and recordings allegedly involving Barnard and a 15-year-old girl from Marshall County High School.