WARNING: Trigger alert for those sensitive to discussions of rape of any kind.
The former host of a popular “family friendly” Christian morning show based in Grand Rapids has admitted to the rape of a bound 12-year old boy. John Balyo was indicted in June. The charges, which can be read HERE, are “sexual exploitation of a child” and “possession of child pornography”. During a court appearance today, he admitted to having sex with the very young boy:
Former WCSG radio host John Richard Balyo admitted today that he and a second man handcuffed a 12-year-old boy to a motel bed, sexually abused him and took nine photos during the April encounter.
“I did take images of a child and they were sexually explicit involving bondage and nudity,” Balyo admitted today in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. “I performed sex acts as described. I knew it was wrong.”
Balyo and Ronald Lee Moser paid the boy for his involvement in the April 19th assault. His hands and feet were handcuffed and he was tied to the bed, according to courtroom statements today.
While bound, Balyo took nine photos of the boy, first in his underwear and then naked.
Balyo, who was recently married, is also being charged with a separate rape of an 11-year old boy in Battle Creek.
His accomplice, Ronald Moser, had a website where he would connect pedophiles willing to pay to have sex with children with young victims. When Moser was arrested, he was found with a 12-year old boy and with photos of the boy masturbating on his iPhone.
Balyo has been lauded for his work with Compassion International and, in a video that has since been scrubbed from the internet, talked about meeting his “compassion child” in Uganda. In light of his admission of child rape, the comments are quite disturbing:
Prior to being arrested, the Christian radio personality was praised for his work sponsoring children through Compassion International and was even video recorded meeting his “compassion child” in Uganda. In the video, now littered with comments and accusations, Balyo is asked, “John I have to ask you. You’ve just met your sponsored child, what are you gonna do next?”
Balyo responds to the Christian radio interviewer, “I tell you what, this is a whole lot better than Disney World.”
The investigation that lead to Balyo’s arrest was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children division, the Battle Creek Police Department, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Because Balyo pleaded guilty and is agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors in Moser’s prosecution, he will not be charged with any further crimes that may be uncovered. According to authorities, there is a strong possibility that there are other children who were sexually abused by Balyo.
The plea agreement stipulates that Balyo will face at least 15 years in prison and could be sentenced to a combined maximum sentence of as much as 50 years.
More reporting from WOOD-TV8 out of Grand Rapids: