On October 3, 2020, the victim, 27, was walking home from a coffee shop near Tremont Avenue and Jefferson Avenue when Ballard sexually assaulted her and tried pulling her away. The victim threw coffee on him and was able to escape.
Minutes later, the second victim, 32, was entering her residence near Starkweather Avenue and West 10th Street when Ballard forced himself inside, got on top of her, and strangled her. The victim fought back and yelled for help as Ballard tried stealing her purse before he got in a vehicle and drove away.
Minutes after that, the third victim, 25, was walking on West 31st Street when Ballard grabbed her, sexually assaulted her, and pulled the victim close to him. The victim was able to escape and Ballard fled the scene.
Five hours later, the fourth victim, 31, was shopping at Target on West 117th Street when Ballard walked up from behind and sexually assaulted her before he fled the scene.
The Cleveland Division of Police’s Sex Crimes Unit, along with the Second District’s Detective Bureau, conducted an investigation that linked Ballard to the crimes through DNA, surveillance video, and other evidence. A face mask that Ballard left behind at one crime scene was tested for DNA and matched to him. Video surveillance of Ballard placed him at another crime scene. One victim was able to write down his license plates that was subsequently used to help identify him. He was arrested on November 3.
He pleaded guilty to the following charges:
- Two counts of Rape
- Two counts of Gross Sexual Imposition
- Two counts of Kidnapping
- One count of Aggravated Burglary
Ballard was sentenced today to 17 to 20 ½ years in prison. He will also be classified as a Tier-III Sex Offender, which requires him to register every 90 days for the rest of his life.