Former Christian Radio Host to Plea
John Balyo, the 35-year-old former Christian radio host of WCSG who is accused of creating child pornography, is scheduled to plead guilty to federal charges of possession of child pornography, among other crimes.
According to police records, Balyo paid Ronald Lee Moser of Battle Creek to arrange sexual encounters with underage boys through a website that Moser operated. The website was created and maintained for the purpose of partnering adult men with underaged boys for sexual encounters in exchange for money.
According to Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert, on May 17th Balyo engaged in sex with a 12-year-old boy in Battle Creek. He was arrested and, according to police investigators, he confessed to the rape of the child.
According to the investigators working on the case, in addition to the sexual abuse of the 12-year-old boy, Balyo also took pornographic images of the victim in Kalamazoo County. After his arrest, he was discovered to own a minimum of 9 pornographic pictures that involved prepubescent minors.
Homeland Security agents claim that Balyo paid Ronald Moser, who has also recently been convicted of sexual exploitation of children, possession of child pornography, and distribution of child pornography. Moser apparently posted pictures on his website of a young boy wearing only underwear who was tied to a bed, to which Balyo responded.
Balyo was initially charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which is a felony involving penetration. Under Michigan law it is punishable by up to life in prison but no less than 25 years. However, the prosecutor’s office offered Balyo a deal.
As part of the plea deal, Balyo must forfeit his computers, his photographic equipment and any materials he used while sexually abusing or exploiting children in any capacity. In return for this, and his guilty plea to slightly reduced charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agrees not to seek additional charges against him.
On Wednesday, July 23rd, in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Balyo was charged with sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography. The following day he agreed to plead guilty to both counts.
If convicted, Balyo may face up to 50 years in prison. He is scheduled to enter his plea today, July 29th, but a sentencing date has not yet been set.
Moser is scheduled for jury trial on August 18th.