Grand Rapids Radio Personality Arrested for Criminal Sexual Conduct
“He was arrested on charges from Battle Creek Police on a case that stemmed from 8 Bernardo Place and a Homeland Security investigation,” said Sgt. Jim Martens, with the Battle Creek Police Dept.
John Balyo is the host of the morning show on WCSG radio at Cornerstone University, according to his Twitter page.
Battle Creek Police told FOX 17 Friday afternoon the case is connected to the arrest of a man earlier this month at a Battle Creek home.
That man is Ronald Moser. He is facing four counts connected to child pornography and child exploitation.
Moser was arrested on June 5. When police entered the home, they found him with a 12-year-old boy.
“We got the statements from the other suspect,” said Sgt. Martens. “We had other information that we collected from his residence We obviously had to set up times that we had to speak with possible victims. As soon as we developed name information we did move quickly.”
Balyo was arrested today in Gaylord while he was attending the Big Ticket Festival, a Christian-themed family concert and worship event.
The event partners with World Orphans, a group that funds orphanages in developing countries.
A search of Balyo’s Kent County home in Caledonia was also done.
While investigators wouldn’t get into specifics about the case, they did tell FOX 17 they are working other leads.
“We’re still combing through the information we developed,” Sgt. Martens said. “At this time, we don’t have anyone in particular, but again, we have more information to go through so there may be more arrests.”
In the wake of Balyo’s arrest, WCSG general manager Chris Lemke issued the following statement: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the arrest and allegations against John Balyo, WCSG morning radio host. He has been put on indefinite paid administrative leave pending further investigation and the legal process. Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved in the investigation.”
The following news release was sent to FOX 17 News from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
GAYLORD, Mich. – A Caledonia man was arrested Friday on state charges of criminal sexual conduct following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children.
HSI special agents and officers with the Michigan State Police and Battle Creek Police Department arrested John Baylo, 35, Friday, without incident on state charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Baylo is an on-air personality at Grand Rapid’s Family Christian Radio station, WCSG.
According to the investigation, Baylo allegedly paid a defendant, who is the subject of a separate HSI child-exploitation investigation, to arrange sexual encounters with minor victims. Further details about the investigation are being withheld pending the defendant’s appearance in court to answer to the charges.
A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation 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, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.