Anti–child trafficking crusader Tim Ballard, who is the basis for “Sound of Freedom” and played by Jim Cavaziel in the hit film, left Operation Underground Railroad earlier this summer following a sexual misconduct investigation, according to Vice news.
According to the report, Ballard enlisted women to accompany him as a “spouse” during secretive overseas operations ostensibly aimed at rescuing victims of sex trafficking. Ballard would then pressure these women into sharing a bed or shower, justifying it as a necessary ruse to deceive traffickers.
Ballard even sent at least one woman a photo of himself in underwear adorned with counterfeit tattoos and asked another how far she was willing to go to help save children.
According to Vice, “The total number of women involved is believed to be higher than seven, as that would only account for employees, not contractors or volunteers.”
In response, an O.U.R. spokesperson made the following statement to Vice:
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.
The Vice report did not name the women and they did not respond to request for comment, or have declined to comment. Additionally, individuals who know the women say “they fear retaliation and the effects scandal could have on OUR as it seeks to move on without Ballard—whom sources say is currently trying to work his way back into the organization,” according to Vice.
Ballard, who has aligned himself with Donald Trump, served in an appointed role on a public-private anti-trafficking council during the Trump administration and even featured the former president on his podcast.
Ballard is contemplating entering the Senate race, which will see Mitt Romney vacate his seat.