Marblehead man gets 3-5 years in prison for rape

  • Dominic Ballard sits next to his attorney, William Korman, at Ballard’s rape trial in Hampshire Superior Court last Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/BERA DUNAU 

Staff Writer
Published: 9/23/2019 6:24:57 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A 25-year-old Marblehead man has been sentenced to serve three to five years in state prison for the rape of a University of Massachusetts Amherst student.

A Hampshire Superior Court jury late Monday morning found Dominic Ballard guilty of raping a female UMass student in October 2017.

The incident took place in Ballard’s off-campus room in Amherst when he was a senior and his victim was a sophomore. The Gazette does not typically identify victims of rape.

The jury found Ballard not guilty of another rape charge involving the same accuser.

Assistant District Attorney Sandra Staub asked Judge John Agostini to give Ballard a sentence in the range of 60 to 90 months in state prison.

Staub said the crime was also a violation of trust.

“He needs to know that what he did was wrong,” said Staub.

The victim also addressed the court and described the impact that Ballard’s actions have had on her life.

“If I didn’t have such a great support system surrounding me, I’m certain that I would not be sitting here reading this today,” she said.

The woman said she grew up being afraid of the man who would jump out from behind the bushes and attack her — and that Ballard didn’t seem to be that man. Rather, he was “a familiar face, an acquaintance and a confidence boost.”

“Today, two years later, he is the reason I can no longer bear-hug my little brother or kiss my boyfriend with passion,” she said.

Defense Attorney William Korman said the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation was too high. He cited his client’s lack of a criminal record, and noted that no weapons, drugs or alcohol were involved in the case.

He recommended that Ballard be sentenced to 18 to 24 months in jail and noted that whatever sentence Ballard received would also involve him being placed on the sex offender registry.

“That is going to have a dramatic impact on his life,” Korman said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at

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