A former Augusta police officer convicted of a child sex crime will be subject to lifetime post-release supervision, a Butler County judge ruled Monday.
But the supervision is just a “potential sanction” that would be imposed only if Jerry D. Ballinger violates his probation and is forced to serve his underlying prison sentence of 34 months, Butler County Attorney Darrin Devinney said.
Ballinger, 45, is in the early stages of serving five years’ probation after he was sentenced April 7 on one count of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with child. A defense motion asking the court to find lifetime post-release supervision unconstitutional prompted a Butler County judge to delay ruling on the matter until Monday.
Kansas law requires certain sex offenders to 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.
Post-release supervision, however, can not be imposed unless an offender serves prison time, Devinney said.
“If he is successful on his probation plan over the next five years, the post-release will dry up and not be an issue,” Devinney said.
He added: “The statue is pretty clear. It says if you are convicted of this type of offense, it’s lifetime. And that’s what was imposed.”
Ballinger, a longtime employee of the Augusta Department of Public Safety, was arrested and charged in July with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties after he was accused of having sexual intercourse with a middle-school-age girl at least twice last year.
In addition to the probation, he ordered to 59 days of house arrest and sex offender treatment at his April 7 sentencing.