Clinton man indicted, accused of pulling down boy’s pants, calling him racial slur _lowres

Ronnie Barnes

The Clinton man accused of pulling down a boy’s pants and calling him by a racial slur earlier this month was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury on a count of cruelty to a juvenile, said 20th Judicial District Attorney Samuel C. D’Aquilla.

Ronnie Barnes, 54, whose alleged acts came after asking the child if he was male or female, was already charged with simple battery and a hate crime, D’Aquilla said. Those counts didn’t require an indictment, but the grand jury Tuesday declined to indict Barnes on a proposed count of indecent behavior with a juvenile, the district attorney said.

East Feliciana sheriff’s deputies said Barnes approached the 12-year-old black boy at the Good to Go convenience store at 9177 La. 67 on Aug. 1 and tried to pull down the child’s pants, but likely did not expose him.

Video surveillance of the store shows Barnes tugging on the boy’s pants and later slapping the back of his head as he walked away, said Detective Kevin Garig.

The boy said Barnes, who is white, called him racially charged names and made other racist comments during the encounter.