LOGAN — A 23-year-old Hyde Park man has confessed to blackmailing a woman, to try and force her into continuing a relationship with him. Kyle A. Balls was arrested a year ago when officers reportedly found photos and a video of the woman on his phone.
Balls appeared in 1st District Court Monday morning, accepting a plea deal. He waived his rights to an upcoming trial, pleading guilty to sexual extortion, a third-degree felony. As part of the agreement, prosecutors dropped seven remaining misdemeanors.
In November, Judge Thomas Willmore ruled that police officers violated Balls’ constitutional rights, when they took his cellphone without a warrant. He later set the case for a jury trial that was scheduled to begin January 23.
During Monday’s court appearance, Cache County Chief Deputy Attorney Spencer Walsh said Balls sent messages to the victim, threatening to send inappropriate pictures of her to others, if she did not continue to have a relationship with him. He later sent a video of the victim to her new boyfriend and continued to text her, saying he would send more photos to other people as well.
Walsh said even though the court had tossed out the suspect’s phone as evidence, prosecutors had material from the boyfriend, who received the video from Balls. It showed the woman in various stages of undress and engaged in various sex acts.
Balls was scheduled to be sentenced February 18. He remains out of jail after posting $16,110 in bail and could face up to five years in prison.