Former Ruidoso police officer convicted of child solicitation

RUIDOSO, N.M. — A jury found a 39-year-old former Ruidoso police officer guilty of two sex charges Wednesday.

The trial wrapped up after two days with Judge Angie Schneider presiding. Then, the jury reached a verdict after less than an hour.

The jury found 39-year-old Daniel Balding guilty on all charges. He faced one count each of fourth-degree felonies:

  • Child solicitation by electronic communications
  • Attempting to commit sexually exploit a child by recording

New Mexico State Police and U.S. Homeland Security investigated this case. They allege Balding’s charges stem from messages sent over the Whisper app in September 2019.

At the time, Balding was a Ruidoso police officer. Balding was accused of sending text messages to, who he believed was, a 15-year-old. He was also accused of requesting sexual pictures and videos and sending pictures of himself in uniform and in his patrol vehicle.

Balding faces up to three years behind bars. A sentencing date is TBD.