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Bond set for Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor

Wednesday, October 1st
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Balko also works as a clerk in an auto parts store.

It appears that a former volunteer for the Pinellas County Big Brothers Big Sisters program will remain in jail on charges he molested a 10-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy.

That's because a Pinellas County judge set bond for 26-year-old Kevin Balko at $1.5 million on Wednesday.

Detectives with the St. Petersburg Police Department brought Balko in for questioning on Tuesday.

At some point during that interrogation, Balko allegedly confessed to taking part in some criminal activity. When it was over, he was led off to jail in handcuffs.

Balko is facing five counts of capital sexual battery for molesting a 7-year-old boy and one count of committing a lewd and lascivious act on the boy’s 10-year-old sister.

St. Petersburg Police Department
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  • Police say Balko worked as a volunteer mentor with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program of Pinellas County. He had been working with the boy as part of the program when the alleged crimes took place.

    Detectives say the boy’s older sister was the first to bring Balko’s alleged behavior to their attention.

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    A judge set a $1.5 million bond for Balko.
    "From interviewing the female child, she [said] she had a sibling and [then] I interviewed the sibling, the 7-year-old, and he gave me some information about the behavior of the defendant," said Detective Lorry Dunn, who works with the department's Crimes Against Children unit. "That also led me to believe that I needed to interview him [Balko]."

    Soon after talking to Dunn, Balko was arrested. Susan Ralston, the CEO of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Pinellas County released a statement in reaction to Balko’s arrest.

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    A background check on Balko turned up nothing.
    "We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news that one of our former volunteers has been identified in connection with an allegation of sexual abuse," said the statement. "We express our sincerest sympathy to all of those affected."

    The statement also gave details of the screening process a mentoring volunteer must go through prior to being accepted into the program. The St. Petersburg Police also did a thorough background check on Balko and found nothing.

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