Matthew Chandler, Ninth Judicial District Attorney, announced today that Willard Ballard, age 35, was found guilty of twenty-five (25) counts of Possession of Sexual Exploitation of Children. Ballard now awaits a sentencing hearing, where he will face up to 37 and a half years in the Department of Corrections.
The charges stems from October of 2007, when Willard Ballard brought his personal laptop to a Clovis resident to perform manual updates to the PC. Ballard confessed to the resident that there was child pornography on the computer and that he wanted to erase the entire external memory drive. The concerned citizen immediately called law enforcement to report the crime and Clovis Police Department launched an investigation. The computer was sent to Rocky Mountain Information Network Headquarters for thorough forensic evaluation of the device and components. The evaluation uncovered multiple images of child pornography that was present on the computer. Willard Ballard was charged and ultimately convicted of twenty-five counts of possession of child pornography.
The Honorable Judge Stephen K. Quinn presided over the jury trial and Deputy District Attorney Brian Stover prosecuted the case for the State. Judge Quinn ordered the defendant to complete a pre-sentence diagnostic evaluation prior to final sentencing. Willard Ballard faces a possible sentence of 37 and a half years in prison for his convictions and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
For further information concerning this case, please contact the Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office.