Butler County Times Gazette
  • Letter to the Editor: Appalled by judge's decision

  • Appalled by judge's exercise of injustice
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  • Open letter to Honorable Judge David Ricke,
     This is a letter concerning your decision related to former Augusta Safety Officer Jerry Ballinger.  Let me begin by saying that I do not know the full spectrum of mitigating circumstances involved or the associates that you conferred with in order to come to your judgment in sentencing.
    Let me continue by stating what I do know.  A trusted public official admitted to having sex with a child.  You sentenced this man to not leave his house for 59 days, 5 years probation, and treatment.
    I am appalled by your exercise of injustice.  Not only is a child the victim of a sex crime, but also the community as a whole is a victim of Jerry Ballinger.  You are quoted as such:
    “Mr. Ballinger, in the view of the court, you don't deserve probation in this case, however this court must find you did qualify for a statutory alternative.  It finds the treatment program to be more effective than prison to reform this offender.”
    Judge Ricke, it seems to me that you are more interested in providing for the party who committed a revolting crime than providing the responsible level of protection and justice for the wronged.
    Judge Ricke, let me now speak as a constituent as you hold an elected office.   You did not do your job.  You failed the integrity of this community.  You failed the trust of this community.
    I am convinced that after this decision, you are no longer serving the people of Butler County, and that you have failed as Chief Judge of the 13th Judicial District Court.
    Matt Engels
    Butler County
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