Saturday, April 22, 2006

Officer Phillip Bal - Suspended - Iron Mountain PD

Also See:

Officer Phillip Bal - April 2004 home invasion and CSC charges

Officer Phillip Bal - April 2005 CSC charges

Officer Phillip Bal - April 2006 CSC charges

Officer Phillip Bal - 1995 CSC allegation

Officer Phillip Bal - Sentenced, July 18, 2007 [April 2004 charges]

Officer Phillip Bal - Charges dismissed [Aurora WI. April 2005 charges]
Former officer bound to Circuit Court
Iron Mountain Daily News
July 17, 2006
Article from 10-7 Forum

IRON MOUNTAIN — A former Iron Mountain police officer was bound over to Circuit Court to face criminal sexual conduct charges following a preliminary hearing Monday.

After hearing from both the prosecution and the defense, District Court Judge Michael Kusz ruled he was satisfied their was sufficient evidence to send the charge of criminal sexual assault — fourth degree against former Iron Mountain police officer Phillip Bal to Circuit Court. Preliminary examinations do not determine guilt.

A preliminary examination in District Court is an evidentiary hearing for felonies where the prosecutor must present evidence amounting to at least probable cause that a crime occurred and that the defendant may have been involved.

If the prosecutor meets his burden of proof, the case is bound over to Circuit Court for arraignment.

Special Prosecutor Joe Sartorelli of Crystal Falls told The Daily News the criminal sexual conduct-fourth degree charge against Bal is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a $500 fine.

Bal is also facing two misdemeanor charges including assault and battery and being a disorderly person — intoxicated in public.

Only one person was called to the witness stand, the alleged victim, a Florence County woman.

She told the court that on Friday, April 21, around 11 p.m., she saw Phillip Bal at Off the Wally’s Bar on Fifth Street on Iron Mountain’s northside.

The plaintiff said she knew Bal from when she was having domestic violence problems with her ex-husband.

Seeing Bal at the bar, she went up to him and thanked him for all his help during her domestic violence ordeal, and asked if she could buy him a beer.

Bal said he already had a beer, but she could buy him one later.

Later that night, Bal sat next to her and put an empty beer bottle on the bar. She then bought Bal a beer.

“We started to chat,” she said, “and within a few minutes he started telling me how difficult his marriage was, and how tough things were going for him at home. He then leaned over and kissed me. I slapped his hand and said, ‘You’re married.’” She then left the bar to go play some video games. arraignment.

“I was just about to put money into one of the games, when I heard somebody call my name,” she testified.

“I turned around and Bal was in my face. Bal asked me if I wanted to go home and have some fun with him. I said, ‘No.’ I told him, ‘You have a wife and kids at home. You’re a police officer. Don’t do this.’”

Bal asked her where she lived, and she said she was staying with a girlfriend who was with her at the bar.

Bal asked her girlfriend where she lived, but she wouldn’t tell him.

She then went back and sat at the bar. She was talking with one of her friends when she heard someone call her name. She said that when she turned around, Bal grabbed her face and kissed her.

“I said, ‘You can’t do this,’ but he did it again,” she said.

When asked by Prosecutor Sartorelli what she did next, she said she tried to ignore Bal and he went to the end of the bar. Some 15 minutes later, she told her friend she was going to use the restroom. Her friend asked if she wanted her to with her, but she said, “No.”

She testified that she was about to go into the women’s room, when someone grabbed her from behind and pulled her into a storage area. The door slammed and when she turned around it was Bal, she said.

She said Bal grabbed her by the neck with his left hand and threw her against the wall.

“He kept trying to kiss me,” she said. “He pinned my left arm up against the wall and started rubbing the left side of my body including my left breast. He also thrust his pelvis against me repeatedly simulating sex.”

A friend walked in and asked what was going on, the alleged victim testified. Bal told her the two were just talking and slammed the door in her face, she told the court.

She said she felt very helpless and frightened.

“He kept telling me how pretty I was and kept trying to kiss me,” she said. “I finally bit his lip hoping to get him to stop. I told him he was drunk and that I was sober and that I wasn’t going to forget this.”

Sartorelli asked if biting Bal’s lip made him stop.

“For a short time,” she responded.

“Around that same time,” the plaintiff said, “an employee of Off the Wally’s came into the room and that made him stop,” the plaintiff said.

The plaintiff told the court she doesn’t remember how she got out of the room. Bal left the bar shortly thereafter.

On Saturday, April 22, around 3 p.m., the plaintiff received a phone call from Iron Mountain Police Chief Pete Flaminio. Flaminio asked the plaintiff to tell him what had happened at Off the Wally’s. The plaintiff told the chief what had happened.

During cross-examination, the plaintiff relayed many of the same details to defense attorney Frank Stupak of Escanaba.

The plaintiff told Stupak that she and two friends had arrived at Off the Wally’s bar around 9:45 p.m. that evening. She said she had been going there with friends once a week for approximately three months. The plaintiff told Stupak the alleged incident with Bal happened between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.

When asked how many drinks she had consumed prior to the alleged incident with Phillip Bal, the plaintiff said she had consumed two drinks.

Stupak asked the plaintiff what kind of crowd was in the bar that night and how many of them she knew.

“I would say there were approximately 35 people there,” the plaintiff said. “I knew about 15 of them, including the owner and the bartender.”

Stupak asked the plaintiff why she didn’t scream for help?

“The jukebox was so loud,” the plaintiff said, “nobody would have heard me.”

Stupak then asked the plaintiff if she recalled what she was wearing and what Bal was wearing?

“I was wearing jeans and a tank top with a short sleeve wrap. Bal was wearing jeans with a blue polo shirt and a white t-shirt underneath,” the plaintiff replied.

Stupak asked the plaintiff if police ever examined her clothing?

“No they didn’t,” said the plaintiff.

Bal’s Circuit Court arraignment is set for Monday, Aug. 7 at 9 a.m.


Iron Mtn officer arraigned on sex misconduct, assault charges
Jul 3, 2006

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. An Iron Mountain police officer will appear in court again later this month after being arraigned last week on assault and sexual misconduct charges.

Officer Phillip Bal didn't say a word as a Dickinson County judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. If convicted, the 32-year-old officer could face two years in prison.

The charges stem from events on April 21st at a bar in Iron Mountain. The criminal sexual conduct charge involves a 23-year-old Wisconsin woman. The alleged assaults involved an Iron Mountain man and woman. Bal was off duty at the time.

He has been suspended without pay. His next court appearance comes July 17th.

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