Rick Barnes sentenced to 23 years in prison during Thursday sentencing hearing
Following his transport back to Moffat County late in the day on Friday, Sept. 11 after being on the run for more than a month, Rick Barnes, 53, appeared in district court Thursday morning for a sentencing hearing.
Barnes, who was previously arrested Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019 on felony charges of sexual assault, and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, had previously struck a plea deal with the 14th Judicial District in late June. In the plea deal, Barnes pleaded guilty to Knowing or Reckless Child Abuse Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a class three felony and to Attempt to Commit Sexual Assault on a Child, a class five felony .
On Thursday, Barnes was sentenced to 23 years in the Department of Corrections on felony charges stemming from the 2019 incident. Barnes’ plea deal included a sentence of 20-25 years in state prison. Barnes appeared in front of Chief Judge Michael O’Hara in Courtroom 1 inside the Moffat County Courthouse via videoconference.
“This kind of predatory behavior against a child demands a strong reaction,” said District Attorney Matt Karzen said in a press release. “Mr. Barnes thought he could run from the law, but through the cooperation of multiple agencies he was brought to justice. While a prison sentence can never restore the victim to her former self, today’s sentence brings closure and allows her to focus on healing and moving forward while the defendant serves a lengthy sentence in the department of corrections. Special thanks to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, the Moffat County Attorney, Moffat County Department of Human Services and Heather Cannon, the Guardian Ad Litem, for their work on the case and their attention to the victim.”
Barnes was originally scheduled to appear in court on August 11, but a bench warrant was issued for the Moffat County resident after he failed to file a consent of surety with the Moffat County District Court in early July.
With a bench warrant out for his arrest, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chip McIntyre and Investigator Gary Nichols worked closely with the U.S. Marshals, who eventually tracked down Barnes in Pawhuska, Oklahoma on Sept. 1.
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Mike Cochran is grateful.