Former Christian radio host John Balyo pleads guilty in child sex case

Calhoun County JailJohn Balyo

Former WCSG radio host John Balyo pled guilty Tuesday to sexual exploitation of a child and child pornography possession charges.

Balyo admitted to sexually abusing a child under 13 at an arraignment on June 23, and affirmed his guilt in court this week.

"I performed a sexual act as described and I knowingly possessed the images on my camera," Balyo told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody. "I knew it was wrong."

He also admitted to restraining a 12-year-old boy and photographing the child nude while they were in a Michigan hotel room in April.

When officials searched a storage unit rented by Balyo, they found duct tape, handcuffs, chains, and other items as part of a "bondage kit." They also found a padlock, children's socks, rubber gloves, and clippings of missing child reports and child obituaries.

Authorities said Balyo paid a man, Ronald Moser, to arrange sexual encounters for him with minor children. Moser is also accused of running a website that sets up the illegal encounters. He too was arrested in June.

Balyo, 35, was fired from his Christian radio job after news of his arrest broke.

WCSG General Manager Chris Lemke said the station was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the news.

"We trust in a God who is just and sovereign and will see us through this difficult time," he said in a statement.

Balyo married his wife, Bethany, just seven weeks before he was arrested. A YouCaring donation page was set up to provide for her and her son's counseling, living expenses, and other needs. Donations can also be made at any US Bank branch. "Friends of Bethany," who set up the YouCaring site, emphasized that none of the funds will go toward her husband or his defense.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Balyo will not face any further charges. Authorities said the investigation is continuing, and Balyo may be called to testify against Moser in court. Balyo could receive 15 to 50 years in prison at his November sentencing.