Memo: Balyo fed ‘morbid and sadistic fascination’


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In a court document discussing the sentencing of a former Christian radio host who admitted to sexually assaulting children, federal prosecutors call John Balyo a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and describe a series of disturbing photographs found in his storage unit.

In July, Balyo pleaded guilty to federal charges of child pornography possession and sexual exploitation of a child after raping and taking explicit photographs of a 12-year-old boy in Kalamazoo County in April. He is expected to be sentenced next month.

In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court on Wednesday, federal prosecutors laid out their reasoning for their sentencing recommendations.The document starts by describing Balyo’s positive reputation as a Christian radio host with WCSG whose “voice filled the cars of families commuting to work and school with their children,” a recently married man, a wedding photographer, a volunteer with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, a former camp counselor, and a missionary who worked with children.

“No on ever reported any misgivings or indiscretions about Balyo,” the memo reads. “But he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

The document then takes a sharp turn to describe the items federal investigators found in Balyo’s Plainfield Township storage unit.

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