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Missouri Man Who Wanted to Ban LGBTQ Books Is Charged with Child Molestation

Ryan Utterback showing up to a court hearing on Jan. 27, 2022.

Ryan Utterback showing up to court on Jan. 27, 2022.

A man who wanted to ban LGBTQ books from schools over sexual scenes has been charged with abusing children. It was less than a year after Ryan Utterback, 29, allegedly fondled a child that he appeared at an Oct. 26, 2021 school board meeting. He is also charged with showing a young child sexual videos from his cellphone.

The Gladstone resident committed the fondling while laying down in bed with the young person in December 2020, according to the probable cause statement, according to KMBC. Officials only identified the child as being younger than age 12. He allegedly put the young person on his lap and moved the child’s body against his while touching the kid’s thighs, authorities said. In connection to the same case, he allegedly put his finger through a ripped hole in a teenager’s jeans in September 2020 and rubbed on the young person’s leg, authorities said. The teenager told authorities about this being uncomfortable and not liking this at all.

Utterback faces a count each of second-degree child molestation and misdemeanor fourth-degree domestic assault in connection to this alleged groping.

Utterback appeared at a North Kansas City School District Board of Education meeting on Oct. 26, 2021, helping out Northland Parents Association president Jay Richmond argue against having certain sexually charged LGBTQ books in schools. He held up enlarged, explicit pages from the graphic novel memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which depicts sexual acts between women.

“If I was to hand this material out to a minor, or read or give any of these books to a minor, I would be charged with solicitation of a minor,” Richmond said. “So my first question to you guys is, ‘Why is that any different for you?'”

That is grimly ironic in retrospect because Utterback allegedly began showing sexual videos on his cellphone to a child since that child was around age 4. He faces a misdemeanor count of furnishing pornographic material or attempting to furnish to a minor.

Richmond said the new charges had nothing to do with him or his group.

“Ryan was an attendee at the board meeting,” he said in a statement to KMBC. “I needed help holding a presentation and he helped. I can’t comment on the alleged charges against him because I have no knowledge about them and they have nothing to do with me or the Northland Parent Association.”

As for the book battle, local students appeared at a Nov. 22, 2021 school board hearing, arguing as a group that they should be trusted to handle material like that in Fun Home and the memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue. They said that banning such books shut out important, shared experiences.

Utterback, who identified himself as a parent, expressed sympathy for the students at the time, but he drew a line in the sand.

“I definitely understand their struggles, and it’s not lost on me,” he told KMBC in November. “But again, 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.”

He declined to comment to the outlet when they recorded him entering a Clay County courthouse on Jan. 27. His attorney David Bell also declined to discuss the case. Another court hearing is scheduled for March 10.

[Screenshot via KMBC]

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