A massive child sex sting operation in two Florida counties nabbed a worker at Disney World, as well as employees of other major theme parks in the area, including Sea World and Universal Studios in Orlando — all places frequented by kids.
The Disney corporation later said that the arrested man, 22-year-old Jeff Conrad, had already left his job at Disney World by the time he was busted for allegedly looking for sex with a 14-year-old girl.
“He traveled to have sex with a 14-year-old child,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd at a Tuesday press conference. “He had access to kids because, as he said, he was a Disney employee working at Magic Kingdom.”
Judd also noted that among the 22 men arrested on sexual predator charges were workers at other theme parks. Universal Studios said that its employee Tomas Adames, 29, had been fired, and Sea World said that Ryan Mayer, 24, was indeed an employee there, but for the past two weeks only.
“Why do these people work at theme parks?” asked Judd at the press conference. “Because that’s where the children are.”
Last year, three Disney World workers were arrested in a Lake County child sex sting.
The arrested suspects also included Ahmed Saleem, a 22-year-old former activist with the Orlando branch of the Council on American–Islamic Relations, who worked with Muslim youth and who showed up expecting to have sex with a 12-year-old, driving a car with a license plate reading, “Invest in Children.”
CAIR said that Saleem had not been part of the organization for some time.
Of course, there was no 12-year-old, or 14-year-old. The sting operated by the Lake and Polk County Sheriff’s Departments utilized what is becoming a common method for law enforcement — masquerading at juveniles on the internet.
Undercover investigators entered various online chat sites assuming the fictional identities of children as young as 10 and no older than 14. Once they had a potential sexual predator on the hook, they would arrange in-person meetings for sexual activity.
What the investigators found in the chat rooms was unsettling.
“Their communications and desires were outrageous and deviant,” said Judd. “All 22 traveled to have sex and brought outrageous tools for deviant sex.”
In fact, one man brought a whip to what he thought would be a sexual encounter with a minor. Another, police said, showed up with a pair of girls’ underwear, so he could keep his victim’s underwear as a souvenir. Several of the men brought sex toys — only to find themselves greeted by police running the child sex sting, rather than underage children.
[Image: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]