In recent blogs, I have discussed the epidemic of child sexual abuse in a variety of settings where one would otherwise expect a child to be safe — doctor’s offices, cruise ships, summer camps, and in the boy scouts. This blog continues with that theme and is devoted to shedding light on what had until recently been Disney World’s best kept secret. According to CNN, a shocking 35 Disney World employees have been arrested for child sex abuse crimes in the past eight years. 32 of the employees have already been convicted, with the others cases still pending. The Disney World employees held positions including maintenance workers, gift shop employees, security guard, and tour guides. The criminal charges ranged from possession of child pornography to trying to meet a minor for sex. At least two cases, which were for possession of child pornography, occurred on Disney property, according to CNN.
It is well understood that child sexual predators gravitate toward positions where they will have opportunities to be with children in a position of trust and authority. Given that, theme parks which cater to children in a child-like atmosphere, are a natural locale for sexual predators to seek employment. Indeed, we often see in cases that we handle that sexual predators will groom their victims by taking the child on an outing such as to a theme park.
Disney parks are not the only theme parks that have employed persons who turn out be sexual predators. According to the same report, five Universal Studios employees and two employees from SeaWorld have also been arrested during the same period. Sadly, the lesson here is that there is a risk of child sexual abuse everywhere — even at the “happiest place on earth”. Parents and other adult chaperones must be vigilant with children to ensure their safety and be attentive to any adult who takes a special interest in the child. This is true regardless of where the adult happens to be employed.
Our attorneys are experienced in representing survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation in civil lawsuits throughout the country. If you or someone you know is a survivor of child sexual abuse, please contact our law firm at (954) 524-2820 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected].