Attorney Suzette Rasmussen held a press conference on the steps of the Utah state capitol building, announcing that she is representing women who have accused Tim Ballard, founder of the anti-trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad, of sexual misconduct. Ballard, who has expressed interest in filling the Senate seat vacated by Mitt Romney, recently left the organization amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to VICE News, Ballard allegedly invited women on undercover missions, posing as his wife, and coerced them into intimate situations such as sharing a bed or showering together. Rasmussen read a statement on behalf of the women during the press conference, which detailed allegations of sexual harassment, spiritual manipulation, grooming, and sexual misconduct.
While Rasmussen did not disclose the exact number of women involved, she confirmed that at least seven women were part of the allegations. The nature of the sexual misconduct and whether the women have reported the incidents to the police remain undisclosed at this time.
Sources familiar with the situation claim that Ballard invoked his personal connection to the divine and the authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to persuade women that engaging in sexual activities with him was approved by God. Eric Moutsos, a conservative libertarian personality, has spoken to at least four women accusing Ballard of misconduct and has alleged that multiple marriages have been affected.
Ballard has vehemently denied the allegations and has suggested alternative explanations. In a statement issued through the SPEAR Fund, an anti-trafficking organization he appears to have founded, Ballard referred to the allegations as “baseless” and emphasized that sexual contact was strictly prohibited during his time at Operation Underground Railroad.
The women making the accusations have chosen to remain anonymous for now, expressing gratitude for the support they have received and extending solidarity to all survivors of harassment and abuse.