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Decatur man faces charges he beat and sexually assaulted a girl aged under 13

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Clarence A. Ballard


DECATUR — A sworn police affidavit said a Decatur man punched, choked and threatened to kill a girl under 13 and repeatedly sexually assaulted her in a motel room Saturday evening.

Clarence A. Ballard, 47, was arrested Saturday night and jailed on preliminary charges of predatory criminal sexual assault, two counts, aggravated domestic battery involving strangulation and aggravated battery.

He was also charged with domestic battery and unlawful restraint; all preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

The affidavit from Decatur Police said the traumatized child had been discovered after she flagged down passing motorists for help around 5:45 p.m. in the area of Trump Hill Lane. She later told detectives she had been punched in the head, choked and sexually assaulted by Ballard — who is known to the child’s family — after he had earlier picked her up from her home and told her they were going to get ice cream.

Detective Jason Danner said the girl described Ballard smoking crack cocaine and trying to persuade her to try it. He had then taken her to Sandy’s Motel, 1675 E. Pershing Road, where he had booked a room. The girl had tried to flee but a witness told police they saw Ballard repeatedly punch her in the head while pulling her toward the motel room.

“(The witness) advised ... that the juvenile was screaming and crying during this incident,” Danner said.

Later, when she was questioned, the child described being sexually assaulted by Ballard and then forced to perform sex acts on him in the motel room, Danner said. She described Ballard recording the assault on his cell phone.

“From Detective Danner’s training and experience, he knows that suspects will commonly record their sexual assaults using cellular phones so that they can review it later,” Danner added.

The girl said they left the motel room after the assaults and she told Ballard she was going to call police, prompting him to threaten to kill her. He then drove her to a wooded area which the child didn’t recognize and began to repeatedly punch her again before she managed to open the vehicle door and flee.

“She stated Ballard chased her through the woods and yelled multiple times that he was going to ‘kill’ her,” Danner said. The child managed to outrun Ballard and then flagged down a passing motorist and told them to call both the police and her mother. By 5:45 p.m. she was safe in the custody of a Macon County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Ballard had later turned himself into police and admitted taking the child to the motel and using drugs, but denied the sexual assault allegations.

Macon County Jail records showed that Ballard remained in custody Monday night in lieu of bail set at $530,000, which means he most post $53,000 to bond out.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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