GLADSTONE, Mo. – A Missouri man who has supported the banning of books that depicted sexual acts from district libraries is accused of child molestation, authorities said.
Ryan Utterback, 29, of Gladstone, is facing a felony charge of second-degree child molestation and a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree domestic assault, KMBC-TV reported. He is also facing a misdemeanor charge of furnishing pornographic material or attempting to furnish to a minor in a separate case, according to the television station.
According to a probable cause statement, one incident occurred on Dec. 25, 2020, the Courier-Tribune of Kearney reported. A 12-year-old girl told investigators that Utterback, who was attending a family function, fondled the child. The statement also alleges that five days later, Utterback stuck his finger in the hole in a 14-year-old girl’s jeans and started rubbing her leg, The Kansas City Star reported.
Another probable cause statement alleges that in August 2021, Utterback showed the daughter of his girlfriend videos of people having sex on his phone, the newspaper reported.
Utterback, who appeared at the Clay County Courthouse for a hearing on Jan. 28, declined comment, along with his attorney, David Bell, KMBC reported.
The television station first reported the charges against Utterback, who spoke to KMBC expressing support for banning books in schools that depict sexual content.
“You know, I definitely understand their struggles. It’s not lost on me,” Utterback told KMBC after a Nov. 22 school board meeting. “Those conversations are to be had at home and only I have the intimate understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate for my children.”
Utterback also attended an Oct. 26 school board meeting where a Northland Parent Association showed up to rally against certain books that were available at school libraries, The Star reported.
Utterback is due back in court on March 10, KMBC reported.