A Christian radio host arrested on Friday on charges that he worked with an online human trafficker to arrange for sexual encounters with underage boys reportedly admitted he had sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy, Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert said during arraignment proceedings Monday.
John Balyo, 35, of Caledonia, was arraigned on charges of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Calhoun County District Court, MLive/The Grand Rapids Press reports. He was denied bond and wlll next appear in court July 7 for a probable cause hearing.
Balyo, who had been an on-air host for WCSG, which is part of Cornerstone University’s ministry outreach program, for eight years, reportedly admitted to “some” of the allegations against him, stemming from an incident in Battle Creek in May.
Cornerstone University requires its students, faculty, staff and administration to sign a “lifestyle statement” that they will “avoid every form of immorality, including immoral sexual behavior, homosexuality, lying, stealing and cheating.”
Federal charges are also expected in the investigation, by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Battle Creek Police Department and the Michigan State Police, the Lansing State Journal reports.
Authorities tied Balyo to another investigation against 42-year-old Ronald Lee Moser of Battle Creek after searching his home and seizing online photos of boys clad only in underwear and bound to a bed, MLive/The Grand Rapids Press reports.
Moser has been indicted in federal court on child exploitation and child pornography charges. In his online profile, Moser reportedly posted that he was “looking for people in or around michigan that r in to kids.”
Authorities identified 10 images of prepubescent boys in the online albums, including one in which Moser is depicted. In his comments on the site, he reportedly “demonstrated a sexual interest in trading child pornography.”
When Moser’s home was raided on June 5, authorities discovered a 12-year-old boy at his residence. A phone seized showed images of the boy wearing thong underwear in sexually suggestive poses.
According to the MLive/The Grand Rapids Press report, Moser admitted he had been taking photos of the boy for about a month.
Moser’s trial is scheduled for Aug. 18.
Our earlier report:
A Christian radio host has been fired after Michigan authorities arrested him Friday on child sex charges.
Grand Rapids-based Family Christian Radio station WCSG officials said they fired on-air personality John Balyo, 35, of Caledonia after he was accused of working with a defendant in another criminal case to pay for sexual encounters with underaged boys.
The Detroit Free Press reports Balyo was arrested on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct Friday at a Christian music festival in Gaylord by officers with Homeland Security Investigations, Michigan State Police and the Battle Creek Police Department.
The arrest came after a Homeland Security investigation under its Operation Predator program. Balyo is accused of paying Ronald Lee Moser, 41, of Battle Creek to arrange for sexual encounters with underage boys on Moser’s web site. Moser had been previously charged after authorities raided his home and discovered him with a 12-year-old boy, the Free Press said.
Operation Predator is an international law enforcement effort designed to protect children worldwide from human trafficking and other sex crimes.
In a statement from Cornerstone University, which operates the radio station as part of its outreach ministry program, WCSG general manager Chris Lemke wrote:
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news as you might be as well.
“We trust in a God who is just and sovereign and will see us through this difficult time. ...
“As part of the WCSG family we ask you to join us in praying for God to be glorified through this situation and for justice to prevail. We also ask for your prayers for John, his family, and all those involved surrounding the allegations.”
Authorities searched the home of Balyo and his wife, who he married in April, on Friday, but didn’t say what, if anything, was seized.
Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, Homeland Security Investigations has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children, according to a news release.