A vocal coach in Montgomery County was ordered Monday to serve 18 months in prison after he was convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old student.
Timothy Ballard was convicted of one count of sexual abuse of a minor last fall.
The victim, now a teenager, came forward last year and said that he was abused in Ballard's basement music studio at a home on Ramsdell Terrace in Gaithersburg.
In Montgomery County Circuit Court Monday, Judge Michael Mason sentenced Ballard to 25 years with all but 18 months suspended. Ballard will serve five years of probation after his release and has promised to leave the area.
"He did this to my son, and I think what is happening to him is what he deserves," the victim's father told News4.
He was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, to register as a sex offender, and to stay away from his victim and other adolescents, reported News4's Chris Gordon.
According to court documents, Ballard abused the 12-year-old student multiple times in 2008. The victim told authorities that Ballard told him that he was bisexual and could help the victim figure out who he was, according to the documents.
On at least two occasions, Ballard inappropriately touched and performed a sex act on the victim, the documents said.
The victim's parents were friends of Ballard, and he had been taking lessons with him since he was five.
Although Ballard had faced 25 years in prison, the jury's guidelines were four to nine years. Gordon reports that Judge Mason decided to issue a sentence below the guidelines due to an ambiguity with the jury's ruling.
At issue: Ballard had been accused of five different acts against the boy. The jury made a unanimous finding of abuse, but didn't designate which act they found him guilty of committing.
Ballard told News4's Pat Collins last year that he was innocent, and in court Monday, three people testified that they would trust Ballard with their children.
In addition, more than 20 people submitted letters to the judge in support of Ballard, saying they didn't believe he could have committed the offense. But Judge Mason said he felt that Ballard acted differently with different groups of people, and discounted the letters.
Last fall, the State's Attorney's Office asked for any other possible victims to come forward.