Former Dallas Brass drummer Ryan Burd pleads guilty to sex charge
Published: Monday, July 7, 2014 at 6:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 7, 2014 at 6:23 p.m.
Clarification: Ryan Burd is a former member of the touring musical ensemble Dallas Brass. An earlier version of this article was unclear about his current status in the ensemble.
A South Carolina drummer who, authorities said, twice drove to meet with a High Springs teenage girl for sex in February pleaded guilty Monday in federal court and faces up to life in prison.
Ryan Burd, 29, and Assistant Federal Public Defender Darren Johnson appeared before Judge Maurice M. Paul in a hearing at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Gainesville. Burd pleaded guilty to one count of using an interstate facility, in this case the Internet, to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity, Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Williams said.
Burd was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office while he was touring with the ensemble Dallas Brass, for which he was a percussionist, according to the original arrest report. He is no longer a member of the ensemble.
Burd met the 14-year-old girl during a fundraising concert in Gainesville where Dallas Brass performed and led a music clinic for high school and middle school students.
The girl told deputies she later “liked” the Dallas Brass Facebook page and from that page found Burd's personal page, the report said.
After the two began messaging on Facebook, Burd asked the victim her age and implied he wanted to have sex with her.
Later that night, Burd went to the girl's home without her parents' knowledge to have sex with her, deputies reported. The girl told deputies that after she refused to have any sexual contact with Burd, he kissed her, the report said.
The girl told Burd to leave the home, but before he did, he got the girl's cellphone number. After the girl reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office, Burd sent her a Facebook message apologizing for the incident, the report said.
Detectives used the girl's Facebook account to message Burd, who responded and offered to drive to the girl's home again from Ocala, where he was participating in another music event, the report said. Burd later drove to the girl's home believing he was meeting her for sex and was arrested by deputies, the report said.
The girl's parents and Burd's father were present at the hearing Monday.
As Burd pleaded guilty to the charges, his father held his face in his hands, and the girl's parents wiped their eyes. Burd's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 9 at 1 p.m., where he will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and maximum of life in prison, Williams said.
“I want to compliment Sheriff Sadie Darnell,” he said. “Her investigators did a fantastic job on this case.”