Second Man Charged In Alleged Unlawful Sex With Teenage Girl

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A second Glouster man was indicted in a case in which he is alleged, with another man, of having sex with a 13-year-old at a party.

Hank L. Balch, Jr., 22, was arraigned in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday on an indictment charging him with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony.

Balch is a co-defendant with Zachary L. Smith, 21, who was also indicted for unlawful sexual conduct and was arraigned on Feb. 19. Both Balch and Smith have pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released on their own recognizance.

Smith and Balch are accused of allegedly having sex with a female teen during a party at Smith's residence, 9 Braun St. in Glouster, according to previous Messenger reporting.

The incidents allegedly occurred on Nov. 17, in which Balch and Smith allegedly had sex with the teen, thinking she was intoxicated when she arrived at the residence. Before Balch had sex with the girl, he allegedly watched the teen have sex with a 15-year-old male, according to an Athens County Sheriff's report.

The juvenile female was interviewed after going to OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital's Emergency Room the next day. In the interview with a Children Services caseworker, the teen allegedly said she had had sex with three males at Smith's residence, including Smith, Balch and the 15-year-old.

"(The teen) stated that she, along with everyone at the residence was intoxicated, they were drinking and smoking marijuana," the narrative of the report stated.

Both indicted men voluntarily went to the Glouster Police Department for questioning on Nov. 20.

Smith allegedly told police he remembered the night and said he “had been drinking a lot and was drunk,” according to a supplemental narrative included in the sheriff’s office report. Smith also told police he had “possibly smoked marijuana.”

In his interview with investigators, Balch claimed the girl "never said no or that she wanted to stop."

“(Balch) stated that he thought (she) was 17-years-old, due to her telling him that she was,” the report stated.

Balch was supposed to be arraigned at the same Feb. 19 hearing as Smith, but he did not appear at the hearing and his indictment could not be served because he was no longer living at the address on record, according to the common pleas court database.

Balch was released on his own recognizance by Judge L. Alan Goldsberry, and a pre-trial conference was scheduled for May 8.

Both men are required to have no direct or indirect contact with the girl, her family or each other while they are free on bond.