A sex sting that took place in Florida led to the arrest of more than a dozen men, some of which work for Walt Disney World or SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove.
After a week-long undercover investigation, 18 suspects were arrested with charges varying from attempted lewd battery to transmission of harmful material to minor, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. They allegedly responded to ads that undercover police officers posted, posing as young children.
Authorities say that the men were caught asking children as young as 13 for sexual acts. While not all of them worked at the amusement parks, the disturbing tidbit goes to show how vulnerable children are to these predators.
"This is why we are proactive and conduct operations like this one. We have to search out these predators before they get to our children. Any child with a social media device means a predator has access to that child. Even more importantly, parents need to work with us to protect them,” Judd said in a statement.
Of those that were arrested in the sting, 26-year-old Jeffrey Erich Binder, a security guard at Walt Disney World, believed that he was meeting a 14-year-old girl whom he said he wanted to do “everything” sexual with her.
Disney World spokesperson Jacquee Wahler told CNN that Binder has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the charges.
Another man that was arrested with 19-year-old Arthur Joseph Nelson, a janitor at SeaWorld Orlando’s Discovery Cove theme park, who also believed he was meeting with a 14-year-old girl to have sexual intercourse with. He told officers that this was the first time he has "done something like this,” and added that he was really “high.” He has been fired by SeaWorld, according to CNN.
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