Tim Ballard, the anti-trafficking activist who inspired the movie ‘Sound of Freedom’, has been hit by a second civil lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted and abused the women he used to lure in trafficker’s.
The married father-of-nine is being sued by by five women over allegations he sexually manipulated, abused and harassed them on overseas trips designed to lure and catch child sex traffickers.
The second suit, filed by two further plaintiffs allege that Ballard sexually assaulted them, with one woman claiming he drove a ‘wedge’ between her and her husband, resulting in their divorce.
Ballard is accused of creating a a ‘couple’s ruse’ tactic, which he used to persuade women to pose as his wife to fool child sex traffickers into thinking he was a legitimate client.
However, some of the women allege in their lawsuit that ‘Ballard soon began abusing the couple’s rouse and eventually used the ruse as a tool for sexual grooming.’
Ballard is said to have sent at least one woman a photo of himself in his underwear and to have asked another ‘how far she was willing to go’ to save children, according to one source
Ballard’s wife, Katherine, has stood by her husband in the wake of the allegations against him
‘Through these couples ruses, both in the office and in the field, Ballard eventually engaged in coerced sexual contact with several women and propositioned others.’
Ballard told the women, who believed they were helping to rescue children, that ‘engaging in sexual play with him would improve their marriage’ but told them not to inform their husbands, the suit alleges.
The suit claims Ballard threatened the alleged victims with legal action if they ever disclosed anything about his tactics, including the couples ruse.
The women also allege that Ballard kept up the ruse in private, convincing them they must engage in sexual acts short of actual penetration just in case traffickers observed them.
Ballard, it is alleged, also told his ruse partners that if his wife Katherine died, he would immediately marry them.
In turn he told Katherine that the women continued to fall in love with him on the trips, and that they wanted to kill her, the legal documents state.
One plaintiff in the second suit states that Ballard told her if she ever left him he would ‘put a bullet in my brain’.
Eventually the plaintiff’s husband grew angry that his wife was always away on trips with Ballard and that his communications with his wife were too familiar and unprofessional.
A lawsuit alleges the famous child-trafficking opponent Tim Ballard sexually abused five women after forcing them to pose as his wife on overseas anti-trafficking missions
The lawsuit reveals the full extent of Ballard’s alleged messiah complex, presenting an oil canvas painting depicting him carrying a swaddled child along a railroad
Ballard (center) allegedly took ketamine while dictating revelations from a Mormon prophet who foretold he would be the next US President. Ballard had already forged a connection with former president Donald Trump, pictured here on an episode of the anti-trafficking activist’s podcast, with Jim Caviezel (right), who played Ballard in Sound of Freedom
The lawsuit also alleges that Ballard (right) told women on his missions that his ‘couple’s ruse’ tactic had been endorsed by senior church leader M. Russell Ballard (center), no relation
The plaintiffs eventually separated ‘over the wedge that Ballard has put into their marriage’ the suit alleges.
Ballard continued to be involved in the fallout, offering to pay the woman’s divorce attorney fees and to use a favorite henchman to threaten her husband, the legal fillings allege.
The bombshell lawsuits come just a month after Ballard touted a run for the Senate following the global success of ‘Sound of Freedom’, which was loosely based on his exploits with Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), the anti-trafficking organization he founded in 2013.
The first lawsuit, filed in Utah’s 3rd District Court, contains a litany of extraordinary claims against the OUR founder, including that he used a henchman to threaten one of his alleged victim’s husbands and that he regularly frequented Salt Lake City strip clubs with women he planned to take on missions to get drunk, ‘ingest pills’ and ‘practice’ their sexual chemistry.
It delves into how Ballard was able to become ‘a character of mythical proportions with unquestioned legitimacy’ thanks to his ‘enmeshment with the Mormon church’ and endorsements from high-profile public figures, including Donald Trump and Utah State Attorney General Sean Reyes.
The full extent of Ballard’s alleged messiah complex is also revealed, with the document citing an oil canvas painting of him carrying a swaddled child along a railroad that elevated him ‘to an almost Mother Teresa altitude’.
It had previously been reported that a former OUR member told a since-closed FBI probe that ‘Tim is fully convinced that he is supposed to be the “Mormon Messiah and lead people back to the church”‘.
But while Ballard presented himself as a messianic figure whose overseas missions were saving countless lives, his foundation was ultimately a front for a globetrotting lifestyle of first-class flights, five-star hotels, ‘strip clubs and massage parlors across the world’ enjoyed by the OUR founder and his entourage of wealthy, untrained accomplices, the women claim.
Despite this, Ballard, a devout Mormon, would allegedly appeal to divine authority to justify his actions.
He did so to spiritually manipulate his female victims, almost all of whom were also Mormon, it is claimed.
One extraordinary passage from the lawsuit states that Ballard ‘would get ketamine treatments and have a scribe come in with him while he would talk to the dead prophet Nephi and issue forth prophecies about Ballard’s greatness and future as a United States Senator, President of the United States, and ultimately the Mormon Prophet, to usher in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ’.
Following its initial US release, the film hit UK and Irish cinemas on September 1
The missionary, who purports to be a former CIA agent, allegedly told women his methods had been blessed by the Mormon church, who had endorsed him as a future US President and Prophet.
Ballard also argued that a passage from the Book of Mormon, in which a man kills another man on the promptings of the Holy Spirit, demonstrated that the Holy Spirit could ask people to perform ‘unconventional tasks’, the lawsuit states.
The filing also reiterated reports that the OUR founder claimed President M. Russell Ballard, an unrelated senior member of the church’s second-highest leadership body, had signed off on his activities.
It is alleged that the anti-child trafficking activist said the Elder Ballard had approved the ‘couple’s ruse’ tactic ‘as long as there was no sexual intercourse or kissing on the lips’ – and had given Tim Ballard ‘a special priesthood blessing as such’.
But this did not stop the OUR missionary allegedly engaging in other sexual acts with female colleagues, with Ballard developing a sex position that made it appear as if he was having ‘full on sexual intercourse…while not actually penetrating’.
Other sordid activities he coerced women into included tantric yoga, couple’s massages with escorts and performing lap dances on him, the lawsuit claims.
Even in private: ‘Ballard would claim that he and his female partner had to maintain the appearance of a romantic relationship at all times in case suspicious traffickers might be surveilling them at any moment.’
Ballard is said to have sent at least one woman a photo of himself in his underwear, covered in fake tattoos, and to have asked another ‘how far she was willing to go’ to save children, a source had previously told Vice News.
The lawsuit states that two marriages ended due to Ballard’s actions.
In one case, Ballard offered to cover one victim’s divorce attorney fees and had a henchman threaten her husband on voicemail, the lawsuit alleges.
Ballard allegedly warned the women that speaking out about their alleged sexual encounters it would endanger the lives of those on anti-trafficking operations.
She said the couple were in touch with their local church leaders and ‘remain committed to our family and our faith’
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes appeared set to endorse Ballard for the candidacy before distancing himself from his lifelong friend after the sexual misconduct allegations emerged
Tim Ballard claimed his anti-trafficking activities had been blessed by the Elder Ballard as a means of converting more Americans to the Utah-based faith, according to a since-closed FBI investigation. The church denies Elder Ballard did so
The women claimants say they were given burner phones that they were told they were being tracked on, ordered to delete messages, sign NDAs and threatened with legal action if they leaked anything about Ballard’s tactics.
It wasn’t until Spring 2023 that some of the women came forward to OUR management, leading to Ballard’s termination.
The Mormon church excommunicated Ballard upon learning the full details of how he was using the ‘couple’s ruse’ tactic, the filing states, backing up evidence of his ecclesiastical axing first reported by DailyMail.com last week.
The church has not confirmed this and Ballard’s wife, Katherine, has said that the couple were ‘in touch’ with their local church leaders, but that ‘such conversations – as required by the church – are strictly confidential and extremely personal’.
She added: ‘We are complying fully and remain committed to our family and our faith.’
It marks a dizzying fall from grace for the ‘former CIA agent’ who had looked set to secure the endorsement of Attorney General Reyes for Utah Senator.
The profile he gained from OUR’s activities and the subsequent Sound of Freedom movie had meant he was well placed to replace Mitt Romney, a fellow Mormon, who had announced he would not be running again.
Ballard’s wife, Katherine, has stood by her husband in the wake of the allegations against him. The couple are pictured in August
The lawsuit filed on Monday also documented how Ballard had forged strong connections with public figures, including American author Tony Robbins and conservative media personality Glenn Beck, to furnish his ambitions.
He was appointed as special advisor to Ivanka Trump in October 2017 and joined the White House Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking in 2019.
Meanwhile, his relationship with M. Russell Ballard, whom he met with in Salt Lake City to discuss OUR’s work, and his authorship of three books promoting Mormon Nationalism, ‘further created the myth of Tim Ballard’, the lawsuit states.
OUR reported a revenue of almost $57million to the IRS in 2022, with Ballard receiving a salary of $525,958. Yet former employees claim Ballard earned more than $14million through his personal ventures, launched off the back of OUR’s success.
Ballard initially angrily denied allegations of sexual misconduct against him, first reported by Vice News last month.
‘It’s not true, nothing you hear is true,’ he said in a video filmed by one of his supporters.
The Mormon church has condemned Ballard’s activities in a rare public rebuke, stating that he had used Elder Ballard’s name without permission for ‘personal advantage and activity regarded as morally unacceptable’.
OUR, for its part, has confirmed that Ballard resigned on June 22 this year and is permanently separated from the organization.
A spokesman added that it is ‘dedicated to combatting sexual abuse, and does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination by anyone in its organization’.