A Butler County judge on Monday is expected to decide whether a former Augusta police officer convicted of a sex crime involving a 14-year-old girl will be subject to lifetime post-release supervision.
Jerry Dale Ballinger, 45, was ordered to 59 days of house arrest, 60 months’ probation and sex offender treatment when he was sentenced April 7 on one count of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child. But the judge delayed ruling on the lifetime post-release supervision portion after the defense filed an objection “based on a constitutional argument” to its application in Ballinger’s case, Butler County Assistant Attorney Cheryl Pierce said Friday.
Kansas law requires certain sex offenders be supervised in the community for the remainder of their lives after serving the incarceration portion of their sentences. A person subject to lifetime post-release supervision could face life in prison if he or she is convicted of a new crime.
Ballinger, a longtime employee of the Augusta Department of Public Safety, was arrested and charged in July with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child between the ages of 14 and 16 after he was accused of having sexual intercourse with a middle-school-aged girl.
He pleaded guilty in February to a lesser charge of attempted aggravated indecent liberties as part of a plea deal, Pierce said – a move that made him eligible for probation or a presumptive prison sentence of less than three years under state sentencing guidelines.
The original charges of aggravated indecent liberties with a child each carry a minimum presumptive prison term of 55 to 61 months.
Ballinger was accused of having sex with the teen at least twice – once in April 2013 and once between June and July 2013 – in an unincorporated area of Butler County about two miles southwest of Augusta. He was an acquaintance of the girl.