Tim Ballard, the former Department of Homeland Security agent whose real-life heroics rescuing trafficked children were depicted in the smash film "Sound of Freedom" starring Jim Caviezel, is now speaking out in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct with numerous women.
"It's not true, nothing you hear is true," Ballard told supporters in Boston, who recorded his comments on video.
"This is breaking down my family like you can't believe," he continued, as his delivery varied from shouting at the cameras to welling up in tears.
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His comments come in the wake of a report by far-left VICE News, which indicated "Ballard's exit from Operation Underground Railroad earlier this year followed an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct involving seven women, according to sources with direct knowledge of the organization."
"Sources familiar with the situation said that the self-styled anti-slavery activist, who appears to be preparing for a Senate run, invited women to act as his 'wife' on undercover overseas missions ostensibly aimed at rescuing victims of sex trafficking. He would then allegedly coerce those women into sharing a bed or showering together, claiming that it was necessary to fool traffickers. Ballard, who was played by Jim Caviezel in the hit film Sound of Freedom, is said to have sent at least one woman a photo of himself in his underwear, festooned with fake tattoos, and to have asked another 'how far she was willing to go,' in the words of a source, to save children. These sources requested anonymity because they fear retaliation."
The report continued: "The information from the sources with direct knowledge of OUR corroborates an anonymous letter that's been circulating in the Utah philanthropic community for the past several months, which accuses Ballard of sexual harassment. VICE News first reported on the letter in July; the journalist Lynn Packer published it in full on Sunday.
"'Several weeks ago, an OUR employee who accompanied Tim on an undercover operation filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with OUR's HR department,'" the letter, which was sent this summer to donors to anti-trafficking causes, reads. 'This resulted in an extensive internal investigation into Tim and his individual operational tactics and led to more women speaking up as part of the investigation process.
"'It was ultimately revealed through disturbingly specific and parallel accounts, that Tim has been deceitfully and extensively grooming and manipulating multiple women for the past few years with the ultimate intent of coercing them to participate in sexual acts with him, under the premise of going where it takes and doing 'whatever it takes' to save a child.'"
In July, VICE News referred to "Sound of Freedom" as a "a heavily fictionalized depiction of Ballard's work for a division of ICE and his early career as a private anti-trafficking operator," and published a story about the film with the headline: "Anti-Trafficking Group With Long History of False Claims Gets Its Hollywood Moment."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which Ballard is member, reportedly released a statement to FOX13 News and other media, calling Ballard's behavior "morally unacceptable."
But Ballard questioned the authenticity of that statement.
"I don't believe the Church did this," he said in the video. "I truly don't. Can you imagine that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would publicly condemn one of its members?"
Fox13 also reported the LDS Church "has removed articles promoting Ballard and the nonprofit he founded, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR)."
"Tim is fully convinced that he is supposed to be the 'Mormon Messiah and lead people back to the church," the statement reportedly indicated.
Fox13 noted of VICE's probe: "The documents reportedly outline how prosecutors believe Ballard communicated with a psychic to speak to the prophet Nephi 'to get intel' on how to rescue children.'"
Ballard says in the video: "I'm as human as anybody. But how is it that my decisions and my actions which led to the rescue of over 7,000 women and children and the arrest and imprisonment of over 5,000 traffickers and pedophiles, you tell me how I'm the bad guy in that story. How is it possible?"
"I pray to God the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints wasn't part of this."
Late Monday night, Ballard released a statement through the Spear Fund addressing the allegations in more detail, stating:
"Rescuing kids and fighting child trafficking is an ugly and dark business, especially when—as the result of my work for more than 20 years—we continue to expose members of the powerful, well-funded child trafficking cartels.
"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.
"I want everyone to know that I and our vast army of supporters will likewise never stop. We will keep fighting for the vulnerable all over the globe, and we know that the truth will always prevail.
"I am a faithful member in good standing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures, and I believe in our faith with my whole heart. That will never change.
"It has been alleged that an LDS church spokesperson issued a statement about me through a tabloid that is often hostile to people of faith. My church has not publicly verified the statement's authenticity. We are also highly suspicious about the timing of such a statement given its close proximity to Mitt Romney's announcement that he is retiring, my own public comments about my prayers about future plans, and the fact that the LDS church does not engage in political activity.
"In any event, nothing will change my core beliefs. If someone within the church did release this statement, I am absolutely confident that the right people will step in and ensure that proper due process is followed as the rules of our church dictate.
"I, my family, and the Spear Fund team will confidently move forward and focus on our mission of saving children from the horrors of sex slavery, and remaining fierce defenders of freedom. We invite anyone who shares this passion to join us."
When asked for a detailed request for comment by VICE News, a spokesperson for Operation Underground Railroad stated:
Tim Ballard resigned from O.U.R. on June 22, 2023. He has permanently separated from O.U.R.
O.U.R. is dedicated to combatting sexual abuse, and does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination by anyone in its organization.
O.U.R. retained an independent law firm to conduct a comprehensive investigation of all relevant allegations, and O.U.R. continues to assess and improve the governance of the organization and protocols for its 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.
O.U.R. is confident in its future as the leading organization committed to combatting sex trafficking and saving children who have been captured and sold into slavery.
According to BoxOfficeMojo, "Sound of Freedom" to date has grossed more than $183 million in the U.S. since its opening on Independence Day, and another $27 million internationally.
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