Several women have accused Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) founder-CEO Tim Ballard of sexual misconduct, prompting an investigation before he left his own organization earlier this year. Ballard founded the anti-human trafficking organization O.U.R. in 2013 to target human trafficking and pedophilia on an international scale.
As reported on Vice, Ballard “invited women to act as his ‘wife' on undercover overseas missions ostensibly aimed at rescuing victims of [human] trafficking. He would then allegedly coerce those women into sharing a bed or showering together, claiming that it was necessary to fool traffickers.” The Vice report continues, “The total number of women involved is believed to be higher than seven, as that would only account for employees, not contractors or volunteers. One source close to O.U.R. has detailed knowledge of Ballard making sexual advances to a volunteer using methods similar to those he allegedly used with O.U.R. employees. Those methods are also consistent with his conduct toward another former volunteer who spoke to Vice News.”
Operation Underground Railroad Released a Statement About Tim Ballard's Departure
Following the publication of the Vice News article, O.U.R. released the following statement:
“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 [human] trafficking and saving children who have been captured and sold into slavery.”
Vice reports that an employee who accompanied Ballard on a sting operation filed a complaint letter to O.U.R. HR, prompting the investigation. The letter reads, in part, “It was ultimately revealed through disturbingly specific and parallel accounts, that Tim has been deceitfully and extensively grooming and manipulating multiple women for the past few years with the ultimate intent of coercing them to participate in sexual acts with him, under the premise of going where it takes and doing ‘whatever it takes’ to save a child.”
Over the weekend, Vice reports that Ballard — a Donald Trump ally preparing for a Senate run — gave a speech to a small crowd in Boston, saying, “It’s not true, nothing you hear is true.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rebuked Ballard and downplayed its connection with him.
Jim Caviezel plays Ballard in the 2023 action film Sound of Freedom, directed by Alejandro Monteverde. The film became a sleeper hit, grossing $210 million against a $14.5 million budget despite negative critical response.