Ryan Barnes
Ryan Barnes

A Spring Grove man who sent his daughter's schoolmate sexually explicit text messages -- including a photograph of his penis -- must spend four months in prison.

Ryan J. Barnes, 35, of 405 N. Pine Ave., Apt. A-34, pleaded guilty Sept. 23 in York County Court to one count of displaying obscene or sexual materials, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.

As part of a negotiated plea agreement, all other charges were dismissed, including the felonies of unlawful contact with a minor and disseminating sexual materials to a minor, according to court records.

Barnes was sentenced to four to 23 months in York County Prison, followed by two years of probation, records state. He must report to prison on Oct. 14.

"I believe that the plea agreement was a fair compromise in this particular case," said Lancaster-based attorney Cory Miller, who represents Barnes. "The charges in this matter were filed long after the alleged communication occurred. With a lack of physical evidence and the inherent risks of a trial, this compromise ... seems to be an appropriate way to resolve the matter."

Prosecutor Stephen McDonald declined comment.

Grandma saw texts: Southwestern Regional Police said Barnes sent the messages between Jan. 9, 2012, and May 28, 2012, when the girl's grandmother discovered the texts and called police. Sgt. Lisa Layden filed charges in early 2013.

The victim in the case was 15 years old at the time and met Barnes through the man's daughter, according to police.


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She went to Barnes' home a number of times in 2012 to visit her schoolmate, police said.

"Early in the relationship, (Barnes) told the victim he misplaced his cell phone and asked (the) victim to call it," which she did, court documents state.

Barnes then started calling the girl and sending her text messages, including texts about wanting to have sex with her, documents allege.

"On one occasion, (Barnes) sent a photograph of his partially nude body, exposing his penis," the documents state. "(Barnes) requested photographs of the victim as well."

Sleepover: One night when the girl was sleeping over at the Barnes home, she awoke to find Barnes rubbing her back underneath her clothing, at which point he suggested she go to his bedroom, according to documents.

She declined.

Between January 2012 and May 2012, Barnes sent the girl 397 text messages, police said, and investigators found evidence of 87 phone calls between Barnes and the girl.

Southwestern Regional Police said they spent more than seven months investigating the case.

-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.