In Michigan, religious radio host John Balyo has been arrested for allegedly raping a child and paying a third party to arrange sexual encounters with children. Police say that a bondage kit was found in a storage locker maintained by Balyo.
Balyo, 35, of Caledonia, was arrested at the Big Ticket Christian music festival in Gaylord, Michigan on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was a Christian radio host on WCSG, which is operated by Cornerstone University. He is accused of paying another defendant to arrange sexual encounters with children. Police say that he has admitted to raping one 11 year old boy. Police found a ‘bondage kit’ of handcuffs, chains and duct tape in the storage unit. He reportedly also had piles of articles about missing children and children’s obituaries along with an erotic photography magazine.
These cases often raise a question in my mind as to whether it is appropriate, if found guilty, for a court to increase the sentence due to the defendant’s work as a religious host or organizer. This is not the type of position of authority that is often used to enhance sentences for judges or police officers or principals or teachers. I would think that it would not be appropriate to give him a more harsh sentence for hypocrisy. In the end, it will hardly matter if these charges are proven. Balyo, who recently married and acquired a stepson, is unlikely to see freedom for decades if convicted.