Man who inspired Sound of Freedom movie denies sexual misconduct allegations

Tim Ballard has denied the allegations.

The man who inspired this year’s hit faith-based movie, Sound of Freedom, has denied allegations of sexual misconduct. 

Sound of Freedom grossed over $150m at the international box office and stars Passion of the Christ actor Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard, real-life founder of anti-sex trafficking organisation Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), which claims to have rescued thousands of exploited children.

A report in Vice contained claims of sexual misconduct involving seven women. It is alleged that these women were asked by Ballard to pretend to be his “wife” during rescue operations. They claim to have been coerced into sharing a bed or showering together, supposedly in order to fool traffickers. It is also claimed that he sent one woman a photo of himself in his underwear and, according to one unnamed source, asked another “how far she was willing to go” to save children.

Ballard has released a statement in response to the allegations calling them “false” and “baseless”. 

“As with all of the assaults on my character and integrity over many years, the latest tabloid-driven sexual allegations are false,” he said.

“They are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have built to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children.

“During my time at OUR, I designed strict guidelines for myself and our operators in the field. Sexual contact was prohibited, and I led by example. Given our meticulous attention to this issue, any suggestion of inappropriate sexual contact is categorically false.”

Ballard left OUR in June and now heads up The Spear Fund, another organisation working to end trafficking. 

He has also denied other recent allegations, including that he misrepresented OUR’s relationship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and engaged in the “unauthorized use” of a senior Mormon official’s name for “personal advantage”. 

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