Utah AG Apologizes To Alleged Victims Of Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate, Will Not Seek Re-Election

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Frances Floresca Contributor
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Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced Friday he would not run for re-election and “apologized” to the women who were allegedly assaulted by an anti-human trafficking advocate, Tim Ballard.

Reyes, who has been in office since he was appointed by former Gov. Gary Herbert in 2013, announced in a video posted to YouTube he would not seek re-election.

“I wanted to be clear: I will serve my current term as AG throughout 2024 but will not be running for re-election,” he said. I want to thank Governor Herbert for appointing me in 2013, for legislative leaders and others with whom I’ve worked and thank you to all of my supporters, donors, volunteers and friends for your confidence and encouragement over three successful re-elections.”

Reyes also announced he would launch a criminal investigation into Ballard, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) and other associated groups to determine “what criminal conduct occurred, if any, relating to the complaints made.” (RELATED: ‘He’s Nobody’s Hero: Fox News Host, Anti-Child Trafficking Activist Rip CNN Guest For Criticizing Hit Film)

Ballard is the founder and former CEO of OUR, an anti-human trafficking organization.

Reyes also asked the lawyers of the victims if he could meet with them.

“After hearing their stories in person, I believe them and I am heartbroken for what they’ve endured and the trauma that they will face their entire lives,” he said. I apologized to each of them that my past friendship with Tim Ballard and strong association with [Operation Underground Railroad] contributed to an environment that made them feel powerless and without a voice to fight back.”

Reyes said he plans to spend his final year in office “working together with these survivors, and any others who come forward, so their voices are heard and they have access to resources and support.”

Reyes said he will not be “joining these survivors’ civil cases in any way.”

Former Utah Republican Party chairman Derek Brown announced an exploratory committee to run for attorney general Nov. 16, according to his Facebook page. He appears to be the only candidate to have announced a bid for the seat, according to Ballotpedia.

The Daily Caller reached out to Reyes, as well as his office, for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.