35 Disney Workers Busted in Kid-Sex Crimes Since '06

CNN investigation also looks at Universal Studios, SeaWorld

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 15, 2014 9:55 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Before that next family vacation to a Disney theme park, consider this: Since 2006, at least 35 Disney employees have been arrested and accused of crimes involving children and sex. Those include sex crimes involving children, attempting to meet minors for sex, and possessing child pornography, a CNN investigation reveals. None of the cases involved minors who were actually visiting the theme parks, but two of the child porn cases took place on Disney property. The network's six-month investigation (which appears to have been focused on Florida theme parks) also found that five Universal Studios employees and two SeaWorld employees have also been arrested on similar accusations.

Of the cases, 32 employees have been convicted, and the rest are pending. CNN has details of many of the cases, including a man who worked at Disney's Toy Story ride who allegedly arranged to meet someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl (but was actually an undercover detective), a gift shop worker who downloaded videos of child porn, and a character actor and tour guide-in-training who allegedly sent nude photos to someone he thought was a 13-year-old boy. "Wherever you find children, you'll find sexual predators that want to be there," says a local sheriff. Disney says it has "extensive measures in place" to keep kids safe, and notes that the 35 employees in question represent "one one-hundredth of 1% of the 300,000 people we have employed during this time period."

This Jan. 26, 2006, file photo shows Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
This Jan. 26, 2006, file photo shows Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.   (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay, FILE)
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Why do people work at Disney? Well, they work at Disney because they want a good, stable job for a great company, but there is always a few that are there because they can see children. They can live in a child's world. - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd

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