SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Tim Ballard, founder and former CEO of the anti-human trafficking nonprofit Operation Underground Railroad, denies sexual abuse allegations, calling them “baseless.”
Ballard has reached fame through OUR, which works to rescue victims of child trafficking. He is the subject of the recent movie “Sound of Freedom.” The recent response to sexual misconduct allegations is one of multiple statements about recent controversies around Ballard.
According to a Vice News report initially released in July, Tim Ballard left the nonprofit after an anonymous letter sent to donors of anti-trafficking organizations prompted an investigation. The letter, which was corroborated by inside sources, claims Tim Ballard allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with at least seven women.
The allegations claim Ballard would coerce employees and volunteers into sharing a bed with him or showering together in order to convince sex traffickers that they were really his “wife,” according to Vice News. He allegedly would claim it was necessary to fool the traffickers for the success of the mission.
Ballard released a statement calling the allegations “baseless” through the anti-human trafficking nonprofit The SPEAR Fund, for which Ballard serves as the Senior Advisor.
“As with all of the assaults on my character and integrity over many years, the latest tabloid-driven sexual allegations are false. They are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have built to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children,” the statement read.
The statement continues to say Ballard designed “strict guidelines for myself and our operators in the field. Sexual contact was prohibited, and I led by example.”
“Given our meticulous attention to this issue, any suggestion of inappropriate sexual contact is categorically false,” Ballard’s statement read.
O.U.R. recently told VICE News Tim Ballard permanently resigned from O.U.R. on June 22.
O.U.R. said an independent law firm is conducting an investigation into all “relevant allegations” and is continually improving its protocols for operations.
“To preserve the integrity of its investigation and to protect the privacy of all persons involved, O.U.R. will not make any further public comment at this time,” the organization’s statement read.
The Spear Fund’s most recent statement comes after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints publically clarified that it has “never endorsed, supported or represented OUR, Tim Ballard or any projects associated with them.”
The Church’s statement cited Tim Ballard’s “betrayal” of President M. Russel Ballard’s friendship (no relation) and called Tim Ballard’s activity “morally unacceptable” without providing any additional information on the issue.
Tim Ballard then responded saying he is “a faithful member in good standing” with The Church. He continued to say his church has not verified the statement in the media, despite it coming directly from the church’s media director, Doug Andersen.
“Evil pedophiles will stop at nothing, and they have allies in government, in the media, in big corporations, and even in public institutions. They continue to lie and attempt to destroy my good name and defame my character…and they will never stop,” his earlier statement read.
The full statement responding to the sexual misconduct allegations is provided below:
The Spear Fund—an organization funding and collaborating with a coalition of experts, organizations, and concerned citizens from around the globe to end human-trafficking in our time—is releasing a statement on behalf of Senior Advisor Tim Ballard.
“As with all of the assaults on my character and integrity over many years, the latest tabloid-driven sexual allegations are false. They are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have built to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children.
“During my time at O.U.R., I designed strict guidelines for myself and our operators in the field. Sexual contact was prohibited, and I led by example. Given our meticulous attention to this issue, any suggestion of inappropriate sexual contact is categorically false.”
The Spear Fund strongly encourages journalists to watch this recent episode of the highly-respected Marisol Nichols Podcast, which offers specific context around the child rescue operations process: https://youtu.be/xo6-tdafK6k?si=iVbHc1MhTdumsGanTim Ballard via The SPEAR Fund, 9/19/23