Tim Ballard to speak at conservative CPAC conference amid sexual assault investigations

Ballard has kept a low profile while facing criminal investigations and a series of civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault.

(Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons) Tim Ballard speaking with attendees at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., July 16, 2023. While he faces multiple investigations in allegations of sexual assault, Ballard wil speak at CPAC next month.

Tim Ballard, the founder and former CEO of the anti-trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad, will speak at next month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., despite facing criminal investigations and multiple lawsuits alleging he sexually abused and assaulted a string of women.

CPAC organizers announced Ballard as part of the lineup on social media over the weekend.

Before the assault allegations surfaced, Ballard was a rising star in Republican ranks. The movie “Sound of Freedom” loosely based on Ballard’s life was a box office hit, he served on an anti-trafficking task force during President Donald Trump’s administration and was planning to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Mitt Romney.

But the sexual misconduct accusations led to his ouster from OUR back in June, drew a rare public rebuke from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a few months later and sparked a string of civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct and violent sexual assaults.

Additionally, at least two criminal investigations are underway into the assault allegations — one in Utah County and another which was announced by his long-time friend Attorney General Sean Reyes in December. Four other criminal complaints have been filed against Ballard in jurisdictions in California.

A popular speaker, Ballard could, according to the civil suits, draw $250,000 for speaking appearances, but he has kept a low profile since the assault accusations arose. He was scheduled to speak at an event in Texas last month sponsored by The Spear Fund, an anti-trafficking nonprofit that had listed him as a senior advisor, but was later removed from the billing.

Other speakers at the CPAC event — which runs from Feb. 21 to 24 — include U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene; Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake; several former Trump advisors including Steve Bannon and Richard Grenell; and Eduardo Verastagui, producer of “Sound of Freedom.”