Five women allege in a lawsuit that Tim Ballard the founder of Operation Underground Railroad sexually assaulted them
For additional articles covering OUR, please go to ACJ Investigates- Derailed: Operation Underground Railroad
Tim Ballard testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee in Washington on Sept. 13, 2023
The narrative surrounding Tim Ballard, whose exploits as an undercover crusader against international child sex traffickers inspired this summers sleeper hit, Sound of Freedom, has taken a sordid twist. He now stands accused of sexually assaulting five women who accompanied him on his sting operations.
In a lawsuit filed in Utah, these women assert that Ballard orchestrated and compelled them into sexual acts during his purported trafficking rescue endeavors under Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), the nonprofit he established. These allegations surge forth in the wake of a revelatory Vice News exposé, disclosing Ballard’s departure from OUR this summer amidst a maelstrom of misconduct accusations. Vice, though hesitant to explicitly label the nature of these “misconduct” charges as sexual, ACJ and Lynn Packer resolutely affirm that the allegations leveled against Ballard indeed bear the unmistakable mark of sexual impropriety. Subsequently, Vice News laid bare the full extent of the damning accusations against Ballard in a damning report, shedding light on OUR’s involvement in cultivating an atmosphere that shielded Ballard’s deviant behavior.
The heart of the matter lies in Ballard’s sting operations to purportedly rescue trafficked women and children outside the United States, what the lawsuit terms “OPS.” Initially, Ballard imposed stringent rules, forbidding activities such as kissing on the lips or any exposure of private parts. Interestingly, most of the plaintiffs were, or still are, Mormons themselves.
However, the suit goes on to claim that Ballard began to misuse the “couples ruse” tactic, employing “spiritual manipulation” to coerce these women into sexual contact. Shockingly, the suit asserts that the organization and its board were aware of Ballard’s actions, even alleging that such behavior was “standard policy and procedure.” Reports from the plaintiffs about Ballard’s misconduct were allegedly ignored or silenced.
OUR, along with its board, were named as defendants in the lawsuit. They vehemently denied the allegations. Meanwhile, the Spear Fund, also implicated in the lawsuit and for which Ballard now serves as a senior adviser, did not provide a response when queried.
The lawsuit delves into explicit detail regarding the alleged misuse of the “couples ruse.” Ballard purportedly insisted that he and his female partner had “physical chemistry,” flying them across the country for practices such as “tantric yoga, couples massages with escorts, and lap dancing.” It goes further to state that Ballard would encourage these women to share the same bed and shower with him on missions, eventually coercing sexual acts from them.
Furthermore, the suit alleges that Ballard advised these women that engaging in such activities with him would improve their own marriages, while cautioning them not to divulge these acts to their husbands, as it could jeopardize the mission.
The lawsuit paints a picture of manipulation, where Ballard would ask each woman, “Is there anything you wouldn’t do to save a child?”
Tim Ballard defended the “couples ruse” tactic in an Instagram post, describing it as a “proactive technique” for catching child traffickers. He asserted that it had led to the rescue of numerous children.
“Hundreds, maybe thousands, of children have been rescued using this amazing tactic,” Ballard claimed.
However, the shadow of these allegations has cast a long and unsettling pall over his work.
In an exclusive interview with American Crime Journal, retired FBI special agent Greg Rogers who was a founding member of the FBI’s Task Force on Child Sex Tourism that spent decades as an undercover coordinator for the Bureau, said Ballard’s ‘couples ruse’ was nothing more than, “just a way for him[Tim Ballard] to be sexually inappropriate with underlings he’s interested in. It was a way for him to rationalize it with all of his devoutness to Mormonism.”
This situation is a stark departure from Ballard’s earlier celebrated status within the Mormon community and the recent cinematic acclaim of Sound of Freedom. As more allegations surface and legal proceedings progress, the spotlight on this once-respected figure has dimmed, leaving a trail of disquiet in its wake.
Resources and Further Reading