Tim Ballard arranged for AG Reyes to use cocaine in downtown penthouse, amended lawsuit claims

NOTE: A lawsuit represents only one side of a story.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The new filing in the lawsuit against Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard claims that Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Ballard’s longtime friend, used cocaine at a Salt Lake City penthouse.

The amendment to the lawsuit was filed Friday, and it contained several new assertions, including that a now-deceased leader in the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knew about one of the alleged sexual assaults perpetrated by Ballard.

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In a statement, Chad Kolton, the spokesperson for Tim Ballard said the women behind the civil suit “will smear anyone — including respected members of the LDS church — without any evidence at all if they think it can help them get rich.”

The new filing says that Operation Underground Railroad gave nearly $1 million to the attorney general’s office to motivate Reyes to protect Tim Ballard and the anti-child sex trafficking organization he founded.

The lawsuit claims via an unidentified witness that Ballard was upset with Reyes over a criminal investigation opened in Davis County, “especially since Ballard made arrangements for General Reyes to use a penthouse at Mac’s Place with women and cocaine.”

Mac’s Place is a members-only lounge in downtown Salt Lake City. According to its website, it offers conference rooms, a penthouse, and services such as massages, haircuts and beard trims.

ABC4 reached out Reyes’ personal advisor for comment, but the station’s calls were not answered.

In December, Reyes announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election. During that announcement, he said that he believed the women who have come forward against Ballard, accusing Ballard of grooming them and abusing them in the guise of fighting child sex trafficking.

“After hearing their stories in person, I believe them,” Reyes said at the time. “I’m heartbroken for what they’ve endured and the trauma they will face their entire lives.”

The women allege that Ballard sexually abused them under what was known as the “couples ruse,” which Ballard publicly touted as an undercover tactic where female employees or volunteers would pretend to be his girlfriend on overseas missions.

BACKGROUND INFO: Everything to know about the Tim Ballard controversies

This tactic was supposed to shield him from engaging with child sex trafficking victims, but the women behind the lawsuit allege he used it to coerce and abuse them. The lawsuit was initially filed in October against Ballard, OUR, and several other groups.

Among the new assertions in the lawsuit is that the late President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles “sanctioned” the couples ruse and was aware of one of the sexual assaults, wherein Tim Ballard allegedly went to a woman’s home and raped her.

“President Ballard did not tell Tim Ballard to go to the police and report his horrible act,” the lawsuit states. “Rather, President Ballard told Ballard to do better at obeying the couple ruse rules.”

ABC4 reached out to the Latter-day Saint church for comment, but the station has yet to hear back.

Last fall, the church released a statement denouncing Tim Ballard, saying that he betrayed President Ballard’s friendship and that President Ballard had “never authorized his name, or the name of the church, to be used for Tim’s personal or financial interests.”

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