The family of a 12-year-old boy that former Christian radio personality John Balyo has confessed to raping had strong words for him at his sentencing hearing Monday.
"I want to know why," the victim’s family said in a statement that was read aloud in court, according to WZZM13.com. "Why hurt a child sexually? Why destroy a child's life and ultimately, a whole family? I don’t think you deserve anything. I think you should sit and rot in jail for the rest of your miserable life."
In July, Balyo, 35, admitted that in May he had photographed sex acts with the boy, who was 11 at the time, at a hotel in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, Mlive.com reported.
"I performed a sexual act ... and I knowingly possessed the images on my camera," Balyo reportedly told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody.
That admission was followed by Balyo's guilty plea to first-degree criminal-sexual conduct.
Speaking on his own behalf prior to his sentencing Monday, Balyo said he had "deep and constant remorse" for his actions. "I want the family to know I am very sorry and wish I could do something to correct what has been done," he said.
Following Balyo's plea for mercy, Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Conrad Sindt sentenced him to 25 to 50 years in prison. Judge Sindt also mandated that Balyo, if he is released, register as a sex offender and wear an electronic monitoring device, according to the Calhoun County Justice Center.
According to Wzzm13.com, Balyo, who was married in April, was the morning host on WCSG Radio, a Grand Rapids Christian radio station owned by Cornerstone University. His employment was terminated after his arrest and his wife divorced him.
Balyo's online bio has since been taken down from the station website, but a cache of it remains online. According to the bio, Balyo graduated from Cornerstone University in 2003 and began working in radio.
"The most important part of my story is how CHRIST found me when I was about 8-years-old as my mom led me down the Romans Road one night," the deleted bio reads. "I'll never forget how excited I was while trying to evangelize all the neighbor kids! My walk with Him has been - and continues to be - a great journey."
Homeland Security agents and officers from the Michigan State Police and Battle Creek Police Department arrested Balyo on June 20, at a Christian music festival in Gaylord, Michigan.
"Baylo allegedly paid a defendant, who is the subject of a separate ... child-exploitation investigation, to arrange sexual encounters with minor victims," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a June press release.
The man police said Balyo paid to arrange the encounters has since been identified by police as Ronald Lee Moser. The 42-year-old was indicted in federal court on child exploitation and child pornography charges.
According to Mlive.com, authorities found a "bondage kit" in a storage unit Balyo rented. It reportedly consisted of handcuffs, duct tape and children's socks. There was also other disturbing items in the locker, including articles about missing children and children's obituaries, authorities said.
When Balyo entered his guilty plea in July, he said the child had performed oral sex on him while Moser was present.
Police records obtained by Woodtv.com also state Balyo told police he and Moser had taken a shower with the child and photographed him before raping him.
Moser has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child. He is expected to be sentenced on those charges Friday, for which he faces up to 40 years in prison.
Balyo is now awaiting sentencing in another case. In July, he reportedly pleaded guilty to federal charges of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography. He will be sentenced in that case in December.