'Sound of Freedom' Producer Felt the Naked Breasts of Apparently Underage Trafficking Victim - 2023-09-19

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F0.png 'Sound of Freedom' Producer Felt the Naked Breasts of Apparently Underage Trafficking Victim September 19, 2023, Anna Merlan, Vice News

Paul Hutchinson—an executive producer of Sound of Freedom, the film focused on the heavily fictionalized exploits of anti-trafficking activist Tim Ballard—touched the naked breasts of an apparently underage trafficking victim during a 2016 undercover operation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Footage of the incident and its aftermath was captured by videographers working with Operation Underground Railroad, or OUR, the private anti-trafficking group Ballard founded. An investigator with the Davis County Attorney's Office obtained the footage and wrote detailed descriptions of it as part of a criminal investigation into Ballard and OUR carried out with the FBI. That investigation was closed this year without any charges being brought. The descriptions were included among documents obtained by VICE News through a public-records request, and make clear that the trafficking victim appeared to be—and was believed at the time by Hutchinson and OUR operatives to be—about 16 years old. They also assert that OUR believed the footage had been destroyed.

A description of one of the videos, written by an investigator, shows Hutchinson expressing concerns over whether he could be prosecuted by Mexican authorities over the incident. He was speaking to Matt Osborne, an OUR operative, who dismissed his worries while making clear he didn't think the video should be shown to the U.S. government. Osborne is currently the president and chief operating officer of OUR, as he has been since Ballard resigned from the organization earlier this year following an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Anna | last = Merlan | author2 = Tim Marchman | title = 'Sound of Freedom' Producer Felt the Naked Breasts of Apparently Underage Trafficking Victim | url = https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3mq5w/sound-of-freedom-producer-underage-trafficking-victim | work = Vice News | date = September 19, 2023 | accessdate = September 19, 2023 }}