John Balyo, Former Christian Radio WCSG DJ Accused of Sex Crimes, Pleads Guilty to Charges

( [email protected] ) Jul 31, 2014 08:11 PM EDT
WCSG Disgraced DJ John Balyo
Former Christian radio DJ John Balyo pleaded guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of a minor (AP)

Disgraced DJ John Balyo recently pled guilty to charges of criminal sexual misconduct for assaulting minors following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

On Tuesday, Balyo admitted that he photographed sex acts with a 12-year-old boy who was held to the bed in restraints at a Kalamazoo County hotel in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

"I performed a sexual act as described and I knowingly possessed the images on my camera," Balyo told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmod, reports MLive News.

"I knew it was wrong."

Balyo pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography, crimes that could put him away for up to 50 years.

The 35 year old was formerly a popular radio personality at Cornerstone University based Christian Radio station, WCSG.

According to the investigation, Balyo paid another man, who is the subject of a separate HSI child-exploitation investigation, to arrange sexual encounters with an underage boy.

Following an investigation, Balyo was arrested in June at the Big Ticket Festival, a faith-based festival in Gaylord, Michigan which seeks to share the eternal message of Jesus Christ through innovative evangelism.

Officers with the Michigan State Police and Battle Creek Police Department arrested Balyo on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and WCSG fired Balyo after the incident was revealed.

 "John Balyo is completely remorseful and is taking every step to reduce the trauma and misery of people having to come to court," Balyo's defense attorney, David Dodge, said in a statement. (Balyo) is proactively resolving this ... with full acceptance of responsibility."

"We sincerely grieve over these recent events, in particular the tragic impact on victims and their parents," Chris Lemke, executive director of Cornerstone University Radio, WCSG and Mission Network News said in a statement on the WCSG website. "The WCSG family is deeply aching and know you may be hurting as well. We know that no one, absolutely no one, is immune from falling into the darkness of sin. And yet, we have hope. Those who truly follow and live for Jesus Christ know He alone has the power to restore broken lives and broken trust."

This investigation which uncovered Balyo's crimes was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI 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. In fiscal year 2013, HSI special agents arrested more than 2,000 individuals under this initiative.