JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Northeast Arkansas high school coach is in police custody, accused of computer child pornography.
According to a news release from Buffalo Island Central Schools in Monette, the district learned Monday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Brandon Ballard.
The Pike County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Region 8 News that Ballard is incarcerated in their facility and is awaiting the filing of formal charges, which are expected to happen on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
In the news release, BIC stated the allegations might “involve communication with a student in another school district.”
Ballard has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
Superintendent Gaylon Taylor stated:
Residents around the town of Monette said Tuesday they’re stunned to learn the news of the arrest.
“It’s hard for me to believe but if he’s guilty, I hate pedophiles with a passion," John Houchin said. “I love kids but I hate pedophiles and, if he’s guilty, I hope he’s prosecuted to the full extent.”
“It broke my heart," Brenda Pace said. "I was shocked and it’s hard for me to comprehend someone doing that. Especially a teacher, someone that the kids look up to.”
Ballard, who is a Leachville native, was named the state’s top high school basketball player in 2005 after he led Buffalo Island Central High School to a state championship his senior year.
He went on to play one season at Arkansas State University in the 2005-2006 season.