Conviction and Sentence of Former Football Star Affirmed
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on March 5, 2012, the conviction and thirty-year prison sentence of former football star Steven D. Ballinger, 31, was affirmed by a panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in a Nonprecedential Disposition Order.
Evidence brought out court proceedings in this case revealed that on July 7, 2006, Ballinger, who was 26 at the time, videotaped himself having sexual intercourse with a 13 year old child. The victim was found at Ballinger’s parents’ home after the victim’s mother contacted the police and asked them to remove her daughter from the home. Evidence introduced at sentencing established that the sexual relationship between the two began in June, 2006, when the victim was only 12 years old. The evidence also established that, despite Ballinger being warned by the victim’s family that the victim was only 12, Ballinger continued to have sexual relations with the victim, culminating in the videotaping of them having sex on the victim’s 13th birthday. Additional evidence introduced at sentencing, including Ballinger’s own admissions, established that Ballinger gave the victim cocaine and alcohol during their relationship, resulting in the minor having to enter a rehabilitation center for her cocaine addiction after being removed from Ballinger’s home.
The Seventh Circuit, in its order, turned down multiple challenges Ballinger brought against his conviction and sentence, stating, “ . . . we AFFIRM the district court’s judgment in all respects.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Angi Scott.