Man charged with forcible sex abuse of a minor

Stock photo | St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City man facing two second-degree felonies is in custody without bail after he allegedly sexually assaulted an underage female at a house party last month, authorities said.

Jason Ballenger, 33, was arrested Wednesday for two counts of forcible sexual abuse of a minor. He is in the Iron County Correctional Facility on a no-bail hold.

According to the charging documents filed in 5th District Court, Cedar City Police arrested Ballenger following an incident with a 16-year-old female who reported he had sexually assaulted her Jan. 29 during and after a party at a residence located at the 1600 block of Northfield Road.

Jason Ballenger, booking photo, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 1, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriffs Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

The victim was at the home to help take care of the children whose parents were also there but reportedly drinking at the time.

Ballenger allegedly inappropriately touched the victim several times throughout the night but was warned by the homeowner to leave her alone due to her age.

Later that evening, the suspect’s girlfriend found the victim laying down in a bedroom where she joined her and began questioning the girl about her previous sexual history, the report said.

“The victim said (Ballenger’s girlfriend) told her that she and Jason were swingers and Jason was mad because she was not doing her part,” Det. Davie Evans said in his statement.

Ballenger came into the room and after laying down between the two females began allegedly touching the victim. The minor told police she pushed him away and left the room.

The suspect again found her in her bedroom later that evening where he sexually assaulted her another time, according to court documents.

The victim told investigators she pushed Ballenger away, this time running to another room and locking the door behind her.

The next morning, Evans said, the victim told the homeowners what had transpired and they called the police.

Ballenger’s girlfriend reportedly corroborated the victim’s story. However, she admitted to police she had also touched the victim but denied having inappropriate contact with her. The girlfriend also told police the couple knew the girl’s age. She denied knowing that her boyfriend had allegedly sexually assaulted the victim the second time.

Police interviewed Ballenger in jail where he was being held at the time for a probation violation. The suspect allegedly confessed to the first sexual assault but insisted the second alleged incident was consensual, denying that he had sexually assaulted her. The report states Ballenger admitted he knew the girl’s age.

“Jason stated the victim was drinking alcohol and never told him to stop,” the police statement detailed.

Ballenger appeared in 5th District Court for an initial appearance Thursday.

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Larry February 4, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Lots more going on at “that house” than just this….Whad’a you whana’ bet?

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