Tim Ballard is speaking out after being accused of sexual harassment in an investigation involving seven women.
Ballard is the real-life subject of the blockbuster indie film voice of freedomThe film, which tells the story of a man who rescues children from human traffickers, released a statement Tuesday through the Spear Fund, where he serves as a senior advisor.
“The latest tabloid sexual allegations are unfounded, as are the attacks on my character and integrity over the years. These are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have created to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children,” Ballard said in a statement sent to PEOPLE.
Ballard released a second statement, also through the Spear Fund, reaffirming his commitment to working to end human trafficking despite the allegations against him. “We will continue to fight for the defenseless around the world, and we know the truth will always prevail,” the statement said in part.
Deputy A report published Monday reported that sources “familiar with the situation,” who chose to remain anonymous “for fear of retaliation,” told the press that Ballard “allegedly invited women to act as his ‘wives’ on undercover missions overseas.” – child sex trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad (OUR).
OUR’s founder and former CEO “would allegedly force these women to share a bed or shower together, claiming it was necessary to deceive the traffickers.” Deputy.
The publication claimed that Ballard “sent at least one woman a photo of himself in his underwear, adorned with fake tattoos.” A source claimed Ballard asked another woman “how far she was willing to go” to save children from sex trafficking.
A source close to OUR reportedly “had detailed information that Ballard had made sexual advances toward a volunteer using methods similar to those he allegedly used with OUR employees,” and that the information was allegedly “consistent with his behavior toward another former volunteer.” publication by Deputy.
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Ballard, who resigned from the organization on June 22, “has left OUR permanently,” OUR said in a statement to PEOPLE.
The statement continued: “OUR is committed to combating sexual abuse and does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination by anyone within its organization.” “OUR has retained an independent law firm to conduct a comprehensive investigation into all relevant allegations, and OUR continues to evaluate and improve the organization’s governance and protocols for its operations.”
The organization added: “To preserve the integrity of its investigation and protect the privacy of all individuals involved, OUR will have no further public comment at this time.”
“OUR is confident in its future as the leading organization dedicated to fighting sex trafficking and rescuing children captured and sold into slavery,” the statement said.
“During my time at OUR, I designed strict rules for myself and our operators in the field,” Ballard said in a statement through the Spear Fund. Sexual contact was forbidden and I led by example. “Given the diligence we have devoted to this matter, any allegation of inappropriate sexual intercourse is categorically false.”
Ballard’s departure from OUR preceded the Utah organization’s internal investigation into allegations by several employees against the former CIA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent. Deputy It was reported in July.
Ballard is played by Jim Caviezel. voice of freedomThe film, about Ballard’s mission to save children around the world from sexual slavery, grossed over $183 million at the domestic box office, according to Box Office Mojo.
The official synopsis for the film on Angel Studios’ website says the film “shines a light on the harrowing reality of sex trafficking and the courageous efforts of those who work tirelessly to combat it.”
Angel Studios did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.