Waite Park Man Sentenced in Sex Trafficking Sting
ST. CLOUD -- A Waite Park man has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison for trying to get an undercover officer he thought was a prostitute to work for him. Thirty-six-year-old William Ballard pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of engaging in sex trafficking of an individual and was immediately sentenced. He gets credit for serving 93 days in jail.
Court records show members of the Central Minnesota Sex Trafficking Task Force posted an ad on backpage.com in February acting as a woman looking for clients willing to pay for sex.
Ballard responded to the ad and asked the fictional woman whether she was working as an independent. Undercover police responded she was and that she didn't want a pimp taking her money. Ballard allegedly said it would be a partnership and he could provide her with a house and transportation.
Court records show Ballard texted that "I been in the game and been around the world. I'm far from green sweetheart...Instead of a girlfriend...I rather have a hoe."
Police set up a meeting at a hotel and arrested Ballard.
Ballard was on supervised release at the time stemming from a 1st-degree assault conviction in Ramsey County where a woman said Ballard had trafficked her for sex, broke some of her bones and slit her throat.