Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) and its founder Tim Ballard are being sued for a third time amid accusations that he used his anti-trafficking group to prey on women.
According to a complaint filed in Utah state court, Ballard enlisted a former Marine for a purported sting operation in the British Virgin Islands and encouraged another OUR employee, Matthew Cooper, to touch her sexually under false pretenses.
Jordana Bree Righter also claims that afterward, during a four-day “cosplay training” in Salt Lake City, two people in the organization struck her in the face, shattering her eye socket. Ballard, whose work was dramatized in the film Sound of Freedom, is accused of refusing to call an ambulance to prevent any record of the October 2021 incident.
Righter “had surgery to remove the bone fragments from her facial nerve and replaced her eye socket with a silicone and titanium implant to support her eye” and “still has double vision, swelling, large floaters, and discomfort in her eye that is irreparable,” the lawsuit says.
Her suit alleges that the sexual assault and battery she suffered was during Ballard’s tool known as “the couples ruse,” where participants would pretend to be in a relationship with Ballard so as not to provoke suspicion from traffickers when he declined to touch victims.
“It became very evident to [Righter] that OUR only focused on allowing its celebrity founder, defendant Tim Ballard, to live the lavish lifestyle of a wealthy sex tourist and sexually manipulate and abuse employees, contractors, and volunteers under the guise of saving children by implementing the COUPLES RUSE,” the lawsuit states.
While in the Virgin Islands, the OURs ops had access to a beachfront home and yacht, and “Ballard began a weeklong experience of partying, dragging his team to strip clubs all across the island, trying to create a demand for underage girls so that a pimp somewhere could find him one,” the complaint alleges.
Ballard “attempted to goad” Cooper into being “more sexually aggressive” in the couples ruse with Righter, which led to her “being sexually touched” by him “under false pretense both at the lavish resort and while going to strip clubs and massage parlors.”
“After returning home, [Righter] informed OUR that she would never participate with Ballard on OPS given his abhorrent behaviors, and that it was Ballard who created the demand on the island for trafficked children,” the suit says.
OUR, however, persuaded her to stay for a special operation in Thailand, for which she was expected to complete the training that damaged her eye.
Multiple other women sued Ballard last month in two lawsuits, accusing the former Homeland Security agent of “coerced sexual contact” while pretending to be his spouse during missions.
Ballard has denied the sexual misconduct accusations. “As with all of the assaults on my character and integrity over many years, the latest tabloid-driven sexual allegations are false,” Ballard said in a statement to USA Today before the lawsuits were filed. “They are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have built to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children.”
Ballard resigned from OUR in June after an independent investigation found he violated company policy. He now works for another human trafficking organization, the SPEAR Fund.