A sentencing date has been set for a Vandalia man convicted in February of 8 counts of possessing child pornography and two counts of disseminating child pornography. 37-year old Ryan J. Koontz will face sentencing on July 31 following a telephone conference call between defense attorney Ed Veltman and State’s Attorney Josh Morrison last week. Sentencing had originally been set for April 20. However, a few days prior to that setting, the court was informed that the pre-sentence, psychological and psychosexual evaluations being filed, a sex offender evaluation had not been completed leading to the vacating of the original sentencing date. After a status update on mid-May reveled the evaluation had still not been completed, another status update was set for last week which revealed all evaluation reports had been filed and a sentencing hearing date was set for July 31 at 10am.
The sentencing will bring to a close, a just under four-year long saga following the initial arrest of Koontz in November of 2014. Following one change in defense counsel, Koontz failed to appear for the first day of his scheduled trial in April 2017 leading to a warrant being issued and a multi-day search by several law enforcement agencies before Koontz was captured. Also during the original trial, defense attorney Shin Cho then failed to appear himself on the second day of trial leading to the dismissal of the selected jury and the vacating of trial at that time. Following a court approved motion for Cho to withdraw from the case, public defender David Grigsby was appointed as new counsel and an agreement for a plea was reached just about a month later before Koontz backed out of the agreement and the family of Koontz indicated they would again be hiring private counsel. With defense counsel Ed Veltman entered into record, bench trial in the matter was then held in February 2018 with Koontz found guilty by Judge Marc Kelly of all ten counts with which he was charged.