Ex-high school coach gets 7-year sentence after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 2 students

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BENTON, Kentucky — A former Marshall County High School coach accused of having inappropriate relationships with two underage female students has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Media outlets report that Ronald Barnard was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty on Sept. 15 to six charges, including first-degree sex abuse. Other charges involved use of cell phones and electronic messaging systems to exchange obscene materials with minors and possession of matter portraying minors in a sexual nature.

In court, Barnard expressed remorse and apologized.

Barnard will have a five-year conditional discharge period following his release and be registered as a sex offender for 20 years. Before he is eligible for parole, Barnard will have to complete a sex offender treatment program and will have to serve at least 20 percent of his sentence.

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