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John Balyo. / Calhoun County jail

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - A former host on a Christian radio station who was arrested on first-degree criminal sex charges involving children, admitted to raping a 12-year-old boy, the Calhoun County, Mich., prosecutor said Monday.

John Balyo, 35, of Caledonia, Mich., is accused of paying another man to arrange sex with underage boys.

Balyo was ordered Monday to be held without bond after prosecutor David Gilbert said Balyo made incriminating statements to investigators.

"The defendant did make admissions to count one of the complaint," Gilbert told Calhoun County District Court Magistrate David Heiss during Balyo's arraignment.

In addition to the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge - which is a penetration offense - Balyo also is charged with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct - a touching offense. Battle Creek, Mich., police have alleged he had a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old boy in Battle Creek on May 17.

Balyo, the former host of a program on WCSG-FM, a Christian radio station associated with Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich., was arrested Friday at a Christian music event.

Earlier Monday, WCSG General Manager Chris Lemke addressed the scandal on-air:

"The WCSG family was shocked and saddened to learn WCSG Morning Show host, John Balyo was arrested amid allegations which have since then been much publicized," said Lemke. "On Saturday, WCSG and Cornerstone University ended its affiliation with John."

Immediately after his arrest, WCSG executives placed Balyo on paid administrative leave. But within 24 hours, the station had severed ties with the troubled DJ.

In his comments, Lemke attempted to do more damage control.

"I want you, our radio family, to know that more than ever WCSG exists to serve as a Christ centered influence through compelling content, relevant platforms and passionate relationships," Lemke said. "Our vision is to be an encouraging and engaging media influence for Christ and his church, his kingdom and you here in West Michigan and around the world."

Lemke reminded his Christian audience that "absolutely no one is immune from falling into the darkness of sin." He then prayed that any broken trust be restored.

Balyo was arrested as part of a joint investigation by the Battle Creek Police Department, the Michigan State Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Federal investigators say Balyo's was arrest was part of a larger effort, called "Operation Predator," that has a goal of protecting children from sexual predators.

A spokesman for ICE, Khaalid Walls, said Monday that the federal investigation is continuing but no charges have been sought. Officials searched Balyo's house and car Friday and Walls said Monday additional search warrants were executed, including one for a rented storage facility.

Balyo was questioned for about 2½ hours Friday in Grand Rapids after his arrest and before he was brought to Battle Creek and the county jail.

His arrest is linked to the case against Ronald Moser, 42, of Battle Creek. Moser was arrested in early June and is charged in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids with manufacturing and possessing child pornography.

Walls said Friday the allegation is that Balyo paid Moser to arrange sexual encounters with minor children.

Detective Sgt. Jim Martens said both sexual assault charges against Balyo involved the same boy on the same day. Gilbert declined to comment on whether investigators believe other victims are in the county.

If convicted of the charges, Balyo faces up to life in prison, Heiss said. A preliminary examination of the charges is scheduled for July 7, he said.

Although preliminary bail was set over the weekend at $500,000, the magistrate said after hearing from Gilbert about the admissions, Balyo would be held without bail "because the proof of the defendant's guilt is evident."

Contributing: Angela Cunningham, WZZM-TV, Grand Rapids, Mich.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Prosecutor: Christian radio host admitted he raped boy

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