A Christian radio host was arrested Friday night after authorities claim he allegedly paid to have someone arrange for sexual encounters with minors, WZZM-TV reported.
John Balyo, 35, formerly a host with WCSG radio, was terminated by the gospel station Saturday, just one day after he was detained at a Christian concert in Gaylord, Michigan, on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
In a statement posted on the WCSG website, general manager Chris Lemke said that staffers are “shocked and deeply saddened” by the situation.
“We trust in a God who is just and sovereign and will see us through this difficult time,” he said. “Effective today, John Balyo is no longer affiliated with WCSG Radio.”
Lemke went on to ask that listeners offer up prayers for Balyo and everyone involved in the alleged crime — and that they ask God for justice to prevail.
Balyo was detained by Homeland Security Investigations, Michigan State Police and Battle Creek Police Department, with the investigation conducted under Operation Predator, a Homeland Security Investigations initiative aimed at protecting children from sexual exploitation, according to WZZM-TV.
Investigators claim that another man, Ronald Lee Moser, 41, ran a website that provided sexual encounters with underage boys, the outlet reported; his home was raided in early June.
It is unclear what evidence there could be that possibly links Balyo with Moser.
A press release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued Friday claims that Balyo allegedly paid an individual who is involved in a separate child-exploitation investigation to coordinate sexual encounters with minors, but it does not name Moser.
Battle Creek Police, though, did tell WXMI-TV that the cases are connected.
According to that same release, “Further details about the investigation are being withheld pending the defendant’s appearance in court to answer to the charges.”