Tim Ballard, founder of the famous anti-child slavery organization Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), and inspirational figure behind the film Sound of Freedom, has been accused of sexually harassing seven women during missions to the foreigner and having taken advantage of a Mormon elder.
According to a report from Vice News, Ballard, played by Jim Cavaziel in Sound of Freedom, shockingly resigned from his position in June after OUR launched an investigation into troubling allegations of sexual misconduct. The report suggests that Ballard allegedly pressured women to act as his “wives” during undercover missions intended to rescue sex trafficking victims. He is accused of insisting that they share a bed or shower with him during these missions, allegedly to deceive the traffickers.
What’s even more distressing is that Ballard, a former Department of Homeland Security official, is accused of sending an explicit photo of himself in his underwear to a woman and asking her if she would to do everything possible to save child victims of trafficking.
Although Ballard’s abrupt departure from OUR was publicly announced three months ago, neither he nor the organization offered an explanation at the time. To date, Ballard has not publicly addressed the serious sexual harassment allegations.
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In response to the accusations reported by Vice, OUR released a statement reiterating its commitment to combating sexual abuse and declaring a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment or discrimination within the organization. They commissioned an independent law firm to thoroughly investigate the allegations while also working to improve the organization’s governance and operational protocols.
“Tim Ballard resigned from OUR on June 22, 2023. He has permanently parted ways with OUR,” the statement said.
These allegations are corroborated by a letter sent to OUR offices: “Several weeks ago, an OUR employee who accompanied Tim on an undercover operation filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with OUR’s human resources department. », the letter that was sent this summer to donors. to the causes of the fight against trafficking, we read. “This resulted in a thorough internal investigation into Tim and his individual operational tactics and led to more women speaking out as part of the investigative process. »
After the Vice report was made public, Ballard responded by giving a speech to a small crowd in Boston in which he said: “It’s not true, nothing you’re hearing is true.” »
Before these allegations were made public, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Ballard is a member, issued a statement accusing him of exploiting his relationship with Mormon elder M. Russell Ballard for purposes of personal and financial purposes. Although the Church did not provide specific details, it unequivocally condemned Ballard’s actions as “morally unacceptable.”
In response to the church’s condemnation, Ballard vehemently denied exploiting his relationship with the church elder, describing President Ballard as being like a grandfather to him. He vehemently refuted any claims that the elder’s name was used for financial gain and questioned the authenticity of the Church’s statement, although it was released through ‘an official spokesperson.