Vandalia man agrees to bench trial in 2014 child pornography case

FAYETTE COUNTY — A 37-year-old Vandalia man facing 10 felony counts possessing child pornography agreed in Fayette County Court Thursday to have his fate decided by a judge rather than a jury.

Ryan Koontz
(Source: FCSO)

Ryan J. Koontz remains in the Fayette County Jail where he has been held since his arrest last May for failing to appear at his jury trial on the child pornography case.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, Koontz was arrested in November 2014 as part of “Operation Glass House,” a statewide initiative launched in 2010 to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

He was charged in that case with two Class X felony counts and eight Class 2 felony counts of possessing child pornography.

The court was prepared to try Koontz in absentia after he failed to appear, but his defense attorney failed to appear the next day and the judge dismissed the jurors. Koontz was arrested a few days later.

He waived his right in court Thursday to have the case tried by a jury of his peers and instead Judge Marc Kelly will hear the case starting February 19. The bench trial is expected to last two days at which point Kelly will hand down a verdict.