Montgomery prosecutors take second try in voice coach sex-abuse case -- Gazette.Net


Montgomery County prosecutors are trying a 48-year-old Gaithersburg voice coach charged with sex abuse — again.

The second trial of Timothy M. Ballard of Goodport Lane started Tuesday. He first stood trial on one count of sex abuse in April, but the jury deciding the case locked and Montgomery County Circuit Judge Michael D. Mason was forced to declare a mistrial.

According to Ballard’s court records, the alleged abuse occurred in the spring and summer of 2008 in the basement studio of the house Ballard used to live in on Ramsdell Terrace.

The victim, a boy who was then in eighth grade, came forward in June 2012, according to the documents.

Authorities learned of the abuse after the boy told a parent of one of Ballard’s other students.

In the first trial, jurors learned that Ballard had a close relationship with his accuser and the boy’s family, and that the boy would sometimes sleep at his house after Friday voice sessions and then have class on Saturday mornings.

The victim confided to Ballard that he was unsure whether he was bisexual, according to the documents, and Ballard told the victim that he could help him “figure out who he was.”

In trial, the boy said that the abuse had taken place in Ballard’s basement studio and in his bathroom, and that Ballard had performed sex acts on him and tried to get him to reciprocate but that he declined.

Michael McAuliffe, Ballard’s lawyer, claimed in the first trial that the allegations were the accusations of an angry teenager embarrassed after his teacher yelled at him.

Ballard and the boy had quarreled, he said, because Ballard wanted the boy to pursue vocal studies in college instead of dance, he said.

Then, McAuliffe told jurors that Ballard had yelled at the boy on two separate occasions — once, for teasing another student, and a second time, after the teacher learned that the student had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with another boy backstage at a performance Ballard’s students were staging.

Jurors split eight to four in Ballard’s favor in the first trial, according to an individual on the jury.