Trial set for Hyde Park man charged with extorting woman

Booking photo for Kyle A. Balls (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

LOGAN — A two-day jury trial has been scheduled for a 23-year-old Hyde Park man accused of blackmailing a woman to send pornographic photos to him. Kyle A. Balls was arrested a year ago when officer reportedly found the alleged photos and a video on his phone.

Balls appeared in 1st District Court Monday morning. He has been charged with sexual extortion, a third-degree felony; and seven misdemeanors, including distribution of intimate images, voyeurism and electronic harassment.

Last month Judge Thomas Willmore ruled that police officers violated Balls’ constitutional rights, when they took his cellphone without a warrant. The decision hampers how prosecutors will be able to move forward with the case.

During Monday’s court appearance, public defender Shannon Demler told the court he hadn’t been able to work out a plea deal with prosecutors. He asked for the case to be set for a jury trial next year.

Judge Thomas Willmore scheduled the trial to begin January 23.

According to police reports, Balls met the alleged victim on a social media app, and they reportedly engaged in consensual sex on several occasions.

The woman told officers she broke up with Balls after that because she did not want to continue the relationship. She reportedly started dating another man, although the suspect wanted to continue the sexual encounters with her.

Police report Balls sent an inappropriate photo of the victim to her new boyfriend and continued to text her, saying he would send more photos to other people as well. The woman claimed she wasn’t aware the pictures existed.

Balls remains out of jail after post $16,110 in bail. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

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