June 25, 2024

Sound Of Freedom poster

Less than one day after an investigation of sexual misconduct into Sound Of Freedom-subject Tim Ballard was made public, another person connected to the film faces accusations of inappropriate behavior during their liberation operations. Per Vice, Sound Of Freedom executive producer Paul Hutchinson, the self-described first investor of the film, reportedly touched the bare breasts of a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim during a 2016 operation in Mexico. Hutchinson denies that the female in question was 16 but attests that he touched the victim’s breasts to prove to traffickers he was not a police officer.

Hutchinson was the subject of an investigation into his conduct with Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), the anti-trafficking group founded by Ballard. The inquest was part of a more extensive FBI examination of O.U.R.’s tactics, which federal agents tell VICE News violated best practices. Investigators with the Davis County Attorney’s Office reviewed footage of the incident caught by O.U.R. videographers and provided detailed reports of Hutchinson’s actions. No charges were filed.

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In the video, which was to be used for a documentary series called The Abolitionists, investigators found Hutchinson asking, “I just wanna find out if I’m gonna get in big trouble from the Mexican authority for touching a sixteen-year-old on film?” They also disputed his claims that his hand was forced to touch the victim, noting, “PAUL PUTS BOTH HANDS ON VOLUNTARILY.”

This isn’t the first person associated with Sound Of Freedom to be investigated for sexual misconduct. Tim Ballard, the subject of Sound Of Freedom, a movie loosely based on his exploits with O.U.R., was accused by seven female O.U.R. employees of sexual misconduct. Another of the film’s producers was arrested for child kidnapping in July.

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