A Missouri man who was in support of the push to ban books showing sexual content from district libraries has been charged with child molestation.
Ryan Utterback, 29, was charged with child molestation by Clay County prosecutors on Dec. 14. He was also charged with misdemeanours for attempting to show pornographic material to a minor.
Utterback Expressed Support for Banning 'Inappropriate' Books in TV Interview
KMBC first reported the charges against Utterback, who spoke to the TV station expressing support for banning books in schools that depict sexual content. "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 told KMBC after a Nov. 22 school board meeting where North Kansas City students spoke against the banning.
The books in question were graphic novel Fun Home by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, and George M Johnson's All Boys Aren't Blue, both of which explore gender and sexuality for teens and young people. The school district pulled the two books from school libraries in October 2021, however returned them following students speaking out against the ban, as well as a warning from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Child Molestation Charges Against Utterback
On Dec. 25, 2020, a family member of Utterback's reported to police that their 11-year-old daughter had been molested by Utterback. According to charging documents, the young girl was lying on a bed when he walked in and fondled her. He then allegedly sat up, grabbed her and rubbed her body against his, the probable cause statement obtained by The Kansas Star read.
The probable cause statement alleges other instances where Utterback inappropriately touched a minor as well. In one incident Utterback is accused of placing 12-year-old girl on his lap and asking whether she was ticklish. The girl, according to the court documents, said yes and Utterback started tickling her sides. He then touched her under her clothes, the probable cause statement said.
On another occasion, Utterback and a 14-year-old girl went to get tacos. She sat in the passengers seat of his truck and at some point during the drive Utterback started rubbing her leg under her jeans, according to the documents.
The 14-year-old said, "it felt uncomfortable and that she didn't like it at all," according to court documents . Another probable cause statement alleges Utterback showed the daughter of his girlfriend videos of people having sex on his phone. Events related to that incident started when the girl was 4 years old, according to the court document. In one such instance, Utterback showed her videos of him and her mom "naked having sex," the probable cause statement said.