Woman Gets Eight Years In Prison For Sex Assaults Involving Her Children
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ A woman was sentenced to eight years in prison for having sex with one of her young sons and forcing him and other children to have sex with friends and strangers.
At her sentencing Tuesday, Patricia Ballard faced three of her children and said: ″I am really sorry ... I live with this day after day.″
Judge Morris Sandstead Jr. imposed the maximum sentence under an agreement under which Ballard, 33, pleaded guilty.
″There is no doubt that eight years clearly isn’t enough,″ Sandstead said.
Ballard’s attorney, Leonard Frieling, appealed for leniency.
″As sad as it may sound, she raised her kids the way she thought they should be raised. That’s the way she was raised,″ he said. ″She was a victim of child abuse and that continued into her marriage.″
However, prosecutor Mary Keenan and court-appointed guardian Jim Christoph said anything less than the maximum sentence would trivialize the harm Ballard had done.
Sandstead also called for an estimate of how much restitution Ballard should be required to pay for therapy for her children.
Ballard pleaded guilty in November to one count of sexual assault on a child and one count of felony child abuse for causing ″emotional, mental and physical injury to her children.″
Ballard, her husband Michael and their former neighbors, Dennis and Marcia Dunann, were charged last April with a long list of abuse and sex crimes against the Ballards’ two girls and five boys who ranged in age from 6 to 14.
The defendants allegedly forced the children to have sex with them and also allegedly sold their sexual favors to strangers.
Michael Ballard pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and abusing his children and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Dennis Dunann’s trial is scheduled Jan. 19.
Marcia Dunann agreed to plead guilty to one count of third-degree misdemeanor sex assault and one count of felony conspiracy to commit procurement of a child. The agreement calls for her to be sentenced to eight years’ probation. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 12.