Tim Ballard, the inspirational figure behind the film Sound of Freedom and the creator of the renowned anti-child slavery organisation Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R), has been accused of sexually harassing seven women during abroad missions and taking advantage of a Mormon elder.
According to Vice News, Ballard, who was played by Jim Cavaziel in Sound of Freedom, resigned in June after O.U.R launched an investigation into the serious allegations of sexual assault. According to the report, Ballard allegedly forced women to pose as his “wife” on undercover missions to rescue victims of sex trafficking. He is accused of insisting on sharing a bed or shower with him during these missions in order to fool traffickers.
What’s more, Ballard, a former Department of Homeland Security official, is accused of sending a graphic photo of himself in his pants to one lady and questioning about her willingness to go to great lengths to save kidnapped children.
While Ballard’s unexpected departure from O.U.R was widely publicised three months ago, neither he nor the organisation provided an explanation. Ballard has yet to respond publicly to the severe charges of sexual harassment.
In response to Vice’s allegations, O.U.R issued a statement reiterating its commitment to combating sexual abuse and establishing a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment or discrimination within the organisation. They hired an independent law firm to do a thorough investigation into the claims while also working on improving the organization’s governance and operational protocols.
‘Tim Ballard resigned from O.U.R. on June 22, 2023. He has permanently separated from O.U.R.’ the statement read.
The allegations are corroborated with 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 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.”
After the Vice report went public Ballard responded by giving a speech to a small crowd in Boston in which he said, “It’s not true, nothing you hear is true.”
Before the allegations became public, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Ballard is a member, published a statement accusing him of profiting from his association with Mormon elder M. Russell Ballard. Although no specifics were provided, the church categorically condemned Ballard’s acts as “morally unacceptable.”
In reaction to the church’s condemnation, Ballard fiercely denied taking advantage of his friendship with the church elder, describing President Ballard as a paternal figure to him. He angrily denied exploiting the elder’s identity for financial advantage and questioned the church’s statement, despite it being issued through an official spokeswoman.