Man Gets 20 Years For Preying on Young Children

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Man Gets 20 Years For Preying on Young Children

Leonardtown, MD - 3/27/2013

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By Dick Myers

Cameron Ball
Cameron Ball

A Lexington Park man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for Second-Degree Rape and Third-Degree Sexual Offense. Cameron Ball, 22, was sentenced Tuesday in St. Mary‘s County Circuit Court by Judge Michael Stamm.

Ball entered what is known as an Alford plea to the rape changes, meaning that while not admitting guilt he admitted that the state had enough evidence to prove him guilty. He pled guilty to the Third-Degree Sex Offense change.

Ball was charged with soliciting young girls on Facebook, meeting up with them and having sex with them. The youngest girl was 12 at the time of the alleged offense. Parents of three of the girls testified at the sentencing hearing as to the impact of the crimes of their child.

The courtroom scene was tense, with the families of the victims sitting on one side and the Ball’s family sitting on the other side. Several times testimony elicited verbal responses from one side of the other, particularly when Ball’s father Ron attempted to shift blame for his son’s troubles on the victims.

After the sentencing a deputy followed both families out into the courthouse parking lot to make sure that no problems erupted.

During the hearing Assistant State’s Attorney Julie White noted that Ball was given a suspended sentence in district court on the very same crimes and he went home that same day and “engaged in the same activity again.”

“No matter what the court says he can’t conform his behavior to the confines of the law. That makes him a predator.” She added that Ball doesn’t admit that he did wrong.

The mother of one of the victims, who was 14 at the time of the crime, read a statement that said her daughter has been called “a liar and a slut,” She said her daughter had been hospitalized at Shepherd Pratt Institute, gone through psychotherapy and “she still has blame.” She added, “These girls need to know it is not their fault.”

The mother said, “He is a grown man preying on the emotions of young impressionable girls.” Saying, “Cameron has robbed her of how to feel safe,” the mother asked for the maximum penalty for the crimes.

Another victim’s mother said, “It has affected my daughter a lot. It has affected me a lot.” She said her daughter “doesn’t want to go anywhere and she doesn’t want to associate with other people.” She has avoided counseling. The mother said, “She doesn’t want to deal with it.”

The father of the third victim, who was 12 years old at the time, said his daughter doesn’t want to talk about the incident, but has begun to open up to him. The father said he was in jail at the time of the incident. “I took a lot of blame being incarcerated and not being there with her,” he said.

Ball’s brother Damian, 21, called him “a good person.” He said the world is changing and many young people “are doing what they shouldn’t and talking about things they should not even know about.” He alleged that one of the victims hung out with an older girl who was sexually active.

Damian Ball said he didn’t think a hard sentence was necessary. “He has prayed to God and asked for forgiveness. We are church people,” he said.

Ball’s father Ron criticized the parents of the victim’s for not having more supervision over the girls. “They wear provocative clothes,” he noted. “I don’t think you should take this man’s life. The parents should share the blame,” the father said.

During the hearing there was some discussion about the sentencing guidelines that give a stiffer sentence for permanent injuries. Ball’s attorney, Public Defender Sean Moran argued that the girls were not permanently injured. But White noted the deep psychological scars received by the girls. She said the state could wait to try the case for more long-lasting evidence of the psychological effects.

Ball addressed the court and the families of the victims. He said, “I would like to apologize for all the hurt and stress I have caused. I didn’t mean to hurt any of you. I am sorry I have come off as a predator. That is not who I am.” He said he has learned a lot about himself in the 11 months he has been incarcerated for the crimes.”

Ball continued: “I ask for your forgiveness and ask that you not see me as someone who preys on young people.” He added, “I really would like the opportunity to rehabilitate myself. I have taken the time to become a better man.”

Ball will have to do that in jail. The judge in imposing the 15 years for Second-Degree rape and the five years for Third-Degree Sexual Offense ordered that Ball not be eligible for parole until at least half of the 15 year sentence was served. He said that was “a crime of violence.”

Judge Stamm noted that Ball was very well spoken in his statement. “You are an incredibly intelligent young man,” the judge said. But he said that Ball continued his behavior in spite of being convicted of the earlier offense and thus violated his probation.

“The court is very particular about protecting a child,” adding “The community has to protect our children.”

When Ball is released the judge ordered that he be registered as a sex offender.

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