Augusta police officer charged with sex crimes

An Augusta police officer is facing charges that he had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old middle-school girl, according to Butler County officials and records released Friday.

The officer, Jerry Dale Ballinger, made his first court appearance Wednesday, said Cheryl Pierce, assistant Butler County attorney.

Ballinger faces two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child older than 14 but younger than 16, according to the court-charging document in the case.

The victim’s name is being withheld because of her age and the nature of the alleged offense.

A Sheriff’s Office report says the alleged offenses occurred in unincorporated Butler County, about two miles southwest of Augusta. The incident was reported by an official with the Augusta Police Department, according to the report.

The Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigating agency because the crime is alleged to have occurred outside the city, Pierce said.

The first incident is alleged to have occurred sometime in April; the second sometime between June 15 and July 9, the charging document said. The report identified Ballinger as an acquaintance of, but not related to, the alleged victim.

Ballinger’s case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 19 before Butler County District Court Chief Judge David Ricke, Pierce said.

She said Ballinger was released from custody after posting a $50,000 bond.