Tim Ballard, the high school principal at Abundant Life High School, pleaded not guilty this morning in Sherwood Municipal Court to a charge that he'd sexually assaulted a former student and his case was passed on to Circuit Court. He remained free on the bond he posted after his arrest.
Ballard didn't speak in court (his not-guilty plea was entered by the judge). There were no further references to the police report that said school officials had complaints about Ballard's conduct dating back 11 years. David Koon, who provides this update, is continuing to pursue whether complaints about Ballard were reported to state authorities, as the law requires of churches and schools when sexual misconduct with a minor is alleged.
A woman who attended the hearing with a child told reporters: "If it's bad enough, they need to expose him. Secrets make me sick." She didn't identify herself as a school parent. The school is sponsored by Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church. Officials have not commented beyond saying Ballard had been suspended with pay since the most recent complaint was made to police.
NOTE: I omitted the "not" in the second reference to his plea when I first wrote this, then corrected it.