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Evidence against World Bank employee from Sask. 'extremely strong': Court

The U.S. Attorney's office opposed Matthew Ballek's release saying he poses both a serious danger to the community and is a serious flight risk because he faces a significant prison sentence if convicted.
Matthew Ballek, from Outlook, Sask., who works at the World Bank in Washington, was arrested in February and charged with child porn offences.

WARNING: This story contains details of child abuse

The evidence against World Bank employee Matthew Norman Ballek – who has been charged with distributing videos depicting the sadistic sexual abuse of toddlers and prepubescent children – is “extremely strong,” according to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia.

Ballek was arrested by the FBI in Washington in February and charged with sharing, for purposes of his own sexual gratification, videos depicting toddlers and infants who are crying in pain as they are being raped by adult men. 

Ballek, 31, who is from Outlook, Sask., worked at the Bank of Canada before moving to Washington to work for the World Bank, according to U.S. court documents.

The FBI said that Ballek sent the videos to an undercover FBI officer working with the MPD-FBI Child Exploitation Task Force and “discussed his sexual interest in children at length with an undercover police officer.”

The US Attorney’s office had asked the court that Ballek be held in custody until his trial.

“Although [Ballek] has no known criminal history, he has admitted to the undercover officer in this case that he has a long-standing sexual interest in children and that he has acted on this sexual appetite in the past. Specifically, [Ballek] admitted that he participated in the sexual abuse of a toddler whose father he met on the social media app ‘Grindr.’ [Ballek] also asked the undercover officer if he would ‘share’ his purported eight-year-old daughter, in an apparent attempt to engage with the officer in acts of sexual abuse against this child.

“He also implied to the undercover officer that he has engaged in the sexual abuse of children ‘abroad’ and commented to the officer that he should ‘go abroad’ with him in order to engage in sexual acts with children outside the legal protection of the laws of the United States,” state court documents.

Court heard that Ballek had taken “relatively sophisticated steps to make his illegal conduct harder to detect.”

Another reason the U.S. Attorney’s office was opposed to Ballek’s release is because he is a Canadian citizen in the U. S. on a G4 work visa.

“Given [Ballek's] status as a foreign citizen and his apparent lack of family or other ties to the United States, and in light of the significant prison sentence that [Ballek] is likely to face if convicted, [Ballek] poses both a serious danger to the community and a serious risk of flight.

“[Ballek] here has not only engaged in the distribution of sadistic child pornography material depicting extremely vulnerable toddlers and young children being raped by adult men but has also sought out others who share his sexual interest in children. According to [Ballek’s] statements to the [undercover], he has encouraged others to sexually exploit children by discussing and sharing child pornography and has attempted to meet other offenders who have access to children so that they can sexually abuse the children together.

“[Ballek] told the [undercover] in this case that he had participated in the sexual abuse of an eighteen-month-old boy during a sexual encounter with the boy’s father and also suggested that he had sexually abused children ‘abroad,’ encouraging the officer to go abroad with him. [Ballek] also expressed a sexual interest in the [undercover's] purported eight-year-old daughter.

“[Ballek] did not give a second thought to sharing hardcore child pornography with a stranger. He knew his conduct was illegal, and so he sought to conceal his identity and then to try to cover his tracks. The totality of his conduct and personal circumstances demonstrates that he is an unmitigable danger to the community and a serious risk of flight. There is no condition or combination of conditions that could reasonably assure community safety or [Ballek’s] return to Court were he to be released.”

If found guilty, distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence. The maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.

An indictment is only an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

According to Ballek’s LinkedIn, he has been living in Washington, D. C., working as a financial risk specialist for The World Bank for the past two years. His LinkedIn also states he worked for the Bank of Canada for five years as a senior financial specialist and was a program manager in LGBT capital markets to “empower LGBT+ talent."  He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and his Master of Financial Economics from Western University.

See how Sask Ice catches child predators

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If you have been a victim, there is help available

If you have been a victim of sexual violence, ensuring you are safe and supported is the first step. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

If you do not feel comfortable contacting the police, you can reach out to people you trust. You or someone acting on your behalf can also reach out to a sexual assault support agency, a Victim Services program or helpline.

In Regina call 306-522-2777 or email

In Saskatoon call 306-244-2294 or email

In the Battlefords call 306-445-2727 or email

In Prince Albert call 306-764-1039 or email

 Click for more from Crime, Cops and Court.