Prosecutor: Balyo admitted to sexually assaulting boy

A mug shot of John Balyo. (June 23, 2014)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A longtime Christian radio host has allegedly admitted to sexual assaulting at least one 11-year-old boy.

John Balyo was arraigned Monday in a Battle Creek courtroom on one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. It’s a felony charge that could land him in jail for the rest of his life.

Balyo shook his head as the charge against him was read.

He was arrested as the result of a federal investigation into Ronald Moser of Battle Creek. Police say Balyo paid Moser to arrange sexual liaisons with young boys for sex and that one of the encounters, which involved an 11-year-old, happened in Battle Creek in May.

Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert told Magistrate David Heiss Monday that Balyo confessed to police.

“It is my understanding based on the police report that the defendant did make admissions to count one,” Gilbert said.

Balyo, 35, had been held on $500,000 bond. That was revoked Monday.

“I find based on Mr. Gilbert’s representations and statements and the police report, the proof of the defendant’s guilt is evident, and so I deny  any pretrial release at this point,” the magistrate said.

Balyo may yet face further charges. Gilbert said more warrants were served over the weekend and the Battle Creek Police Department says it is actively working with other law enforcement agencies on the case.

Balyo, who worked at WCSG in Grand Rapids, was arrested Friday at a Christian music festival in Gaylord.

Monday, the general manager of WCSG made an on-air statement regarding Balyo and the charges. Chris Lemke said Balyo’s affiliation with the WCSG was ended Saturday.

After news of his arrest became public Friday, Balyo was fired from his position on the Kent County Traffic Squad, according to Kent County Undersheriff Jon Hess.

The Traffic Squad is an all-volunteer organization that works with police at festivals, parades and other public events to help direct traffic. The Traffic Squad does not have any arrest or police power. Its members always work in conjunction with a regular officer.

Balyo had been a member of the Traffic Squad since 2004, Hess said.


Editor’s note: 24 Hour News 8 originally reported the victim was 12 years old. The probable cause document in the case, later released, said the victim was 11 years old.

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