Sask. man, World Bank employee, arrested by FBI hires top trial lawyer

WARNING: This story contains details of sexual assault and may be disturbing to some readers.

A Saskatchewan man who works for the World Bank and was arrested by the FBI has hired a top Washington criminal defence attorney. Court documents obtained by show that he was initially represented by a public defender. 

Matthew Norman Ballek, 31, who is accused of distributing videos depicting the sadistic sexual abuse of toddlers and prepubescent children, has retained Brandi Harden who has been recognized as the best criminal defence attorney in Washington.

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

Law enforcement raided Ballek’s home in the District of Columbia and arrested him on Feb. 8. 

A member of the MPD-FBI Child Exploitation Task Force was monitoring an online application in an undercover capacity and an undercover agent encountered Ballek, who then allegedly sent a message believing he was communicating with a pedophile, according to an FBI media release. The FBI allege that Ballek later sent the undercover agent three video files depicting adult males sexually abusing minor children. 

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.”  

According to his social media, he is originally from Outlook, Sask.

An indictment is only an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The case has been assigned to the U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton.  

See how Sask Ice catches child predators

For an inside look at how Saskatchewan ICE officers catch child predators click on this story An inside look into how Sask ICE investigators catch child predators

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 [email protected]

In Saskatoon call 306-244-2294 or email [email protected]

In the Battlefords call 306-445-2727 or email [email protected]

In Prince Albert call 306-764-1039 or email [email protected]

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