Tim Ballard, the former Homeland Security agent turned anti-sex-trafficking crusader whose life provided inspiration to summer box office hit Sound of Freedom, is slamming a recent Vice expose that accuses him of sexual conduct with seven women during his time with his organization Operation Underground Railroad.
“As with all of the assaults on my character and integrity over many years, the latest tabloid-driven sexual allegations are false,” said Ballard in a statement, “They are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have built to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children.”
The Vice piece reported that Ballard invited women to act as his wife on undercover overseas missions when he was rescuing victims of sex trafficking. Among myriad claims in the report, Ballard would reportedly coerce these women into sharing a bed or showering together, explaining that such tactics were necessary to fool traffickers. Ballard is portrayed by Jim Caviezel in the $210M-plus global grossing movie Sound of Freedom, which has been a big hit in red states and the heartland this past summer. The Vice report hit as Ballard is preparing a 2024 U.S. Senate run, vying for Utah’s seat that’s being vacated by Mitt Romney. Operation Underground Railroad is an organization, Ballard founded in 2013, whose mission is to combat child sex trafficking. Ballard exited O.U.R. earlier this year, Vice reporting that occurred following an investigation into sexual harassment claims against the anti-sex-trafficking activist. Ballard is also an ally of President Donald Trump, having held an appointed post on a public-private anti-trafficking council in the former’s administration.
“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,” added Ballard, “Given our meticulous attention to this issue, any suggestion of inappropriate sexual contact is categorically false.”
In a statement to Vice, O.U.R. reportedly confirmed that Ballard resigned from the org on June 22, 2023 and that “he has permanently separated from O.U.R.”
Further, said the statement, “O.U.R. is dedicated to combatting sexual abuse, and does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination by anyone in its organization.”
The group stated it “retained an independent law firm to conduct a comprehensive investigation of all relevant allegations,” but would make no further comment “to preserve the integrity of its investigation and to protect the privacy of all persons involved.”
Ballard made his recent statement through The Spear Fund, on which he sits as a senior advisor. The Spear Fund is billed as an organization that funds and collaborates with a coalition of experts, organizations, and concerned citizens from around the globe to end human-trafficking.
Source of data and images: deadline