Communication professor charged with patronizing prostitution

Truman State University professor Barry Poyner has been charged with one misdemeanor count of patronizing prostitution.

Poyner is accused of offering to fill up an undercover Kirksville Police Department detective’s vehicle with fuel in exchange for sexual acts. According to the police report, an act of patronizing prostitution occurred Oct. 25 on Truman’s campus.

Poyner has been a professor in Truman’s communication department for 30 years.

Poyner was issued a summons on Friday to make his initial court appearance in Adair County Jan. 8, 2020.

In early November, Poyner was reportedly active on Grindr and was messaging the undercover officer posing as an 18-year-old male.

As of Friday, Dec. 13, Poyner could not be reached for comment.

“The University is aware of the situation regarding Barry Poyner,” University General Counsel Warren Wells wrote in a statement issued Dec. 13. “He has been placed on suspension and informed that he is not allowed on campus, cannot have any contact with student organizations or participate in any campus events or activities. The University is cooperating with law enforcement and will have no further comment while the matter is under investigation.”

Janet Gooch, vice president for academic affairs, declined to comment. Jay Self, communication department chair, wrote in an email statement to The Index that he could not comment on personnel matters.

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.