Accused child molester faces new charges from '80s in southeast North Dakota case
LAMOURE, N.D. — Ernest LaMont Ballinger faces charges of sexually assaulting a minor last year in Ransom County, and now he's accused of sexually abusing another minor victim in LaMoure County decades ago.
Ballinger, 71, of Lisbon, N.D., faces four felony counts of gross sexual imposition in LaMoure County. The alleged offenses occurred between about 1982 and 1990 when the victim, who was known to Ballinger, was 5 to 11 years old, according to court papers.
Charging documents say Ballinger engaged in oral sexual acts with the victim and that the alleged incidents occurred at Ballinger's farmhouse in rural Verona, N.D.
Ballinger also faces two counts of gross sexual imposition in Ransom County for an alleged sexual assault of a minor in 2018. In that case, Ballinger allegedly told the victim to perform oral sex on him and showed them a pornographic video, authorities said.
In August, the Ransom County Sheriff’s Office said an initial investigation found that Ballinger could be connected to sexual assaults of minors dating back decades. Ransom County Sheriff's Deputy Dave Boelke said some of the people who came forward with stories about Ballinger were in their 60s and 70s.
"I hope that the communities can heal and know that somebody is listening and that we can end that era of silence," Boelke said.
Ballinger is being held at Richland County Jail in Wahpeton, N.D.
WDAY News reporter Hannah Schlosser contributed to this report.