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Disney Under Fire for Fifth Case of Workers Arrested for Human Trafficking, Sex Abuse, and Child Porn

Law enforcement in Polk County has dismantled human trafficking and child porn networks, and arrested over 40 Disney employees between 2006 and 2022

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Several Disney employees have been arrested during an undercover sting operation into a human trafficking scheme, a situation that is becoming recurrent at the children’s entertainment giant.

Polk County police stated that 108 people were arrested last March 16, as a result of “Operation Madness 2,” with the collaboration of five law enforcement agencies, as well as the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Walt Disney World confirmed to The Independent that three Disney employees were among those arrested; they are an IT and software worker; a worker at the Cosmic restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland; and a lifeguard at the Polynesian Resort.

Xavier Jackson, a 27-year-old from Kissimmee, has been charged with contacting a child inappropriately. He was charged with three counts of transmitting harmful material to a minor, and one count of unlawful communication, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

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Jackson, who worked as a lifeguard, allegedly sent sexual images of himself and graphic sexual messages to an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl online.

Also, Wilkason Fidele, 24, and Ralph Leese, 45, were charged with attempting to hire a prostitute.

“The arrests of a human trafficker and four child predators alone makes this whole operation worthwhile,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “The online prostitution industry enables traffickers and victimizes those who are being trafficked.”



Human trafficking and child pornography: recurring cases involving Disney employees
2021

In August 2021 an undercover child sex sting led to the arrest of 17 people in central Florida, including three other Walt Disney World employees. The subjects were looking to meet minors for sex, but it was all a police alibi.

The Disney employees worked at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. One of them was identified as Kenneth Javier Aquino, 26.

This Disney employee, according to authorities, left his 7-month pregnant girlfriend to have sex with a 13-year-old minor.

Meanwhile, the other Disney employees were identified as Jonathan McGrew and Savannah Lawrence, both from Kissimmee and aged 34 and 29 respectively. They were in a relationship and wanted to have a threesome with a 13-year-old minor, the Sheriff’s Office said.


In October of the same year, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Theodore Jones, 27, who believed he was talking to a 13-year-old girl. Deputies say he sent her messages, including explicit nude photos of himself.

Jones works as a cook at Disney Springs and was arrested there on a Polk County warrant.

Jones was charged with use of a computer to seduce a child, two counts of transmitting material harmful to a minor and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

2019

But these cases are becoming more and more recurring. In 2019 the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 117 people, including a Disney security guard also involved in an undercover human trafficking operation.

At that time, authorities arrested 53 people for prostitution, 46 who sought the services of prostitutes and 18 on various prostitution-related charges.

In November of that same year, two other Disney employees were arrested for a child pornography sting in Florida.

Brett Kinney, 40, of Lake Alfred, Florida, told police he worked as a guest experience manager at Disney World; and Donald Durr, Jr, 52, from Davenport, was a janitorial worker at Walt Disney World Resorts, the sheriff’s office said at the time.

2018

In 2018, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 10 men, one of whom was a project manager at Walt Disney World.

He was Roger Catey, 53, charged with 24 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of promoting the sexual performance of a child. Catey was captured in the midst of an undercover operation also led by Sheriff Grady Judd’s office.

2014

In 2014, it became known that some 30 Disney workers had been arrested for alleged child molestation since 2006 and 32 others were convicted of possessing child pornography.

The scandal, which was uncovered by CNN, was of such magnitude that the local Polk Police sheriff advised children’s entertainment companies to polygraph prospective employees.

One of those arrested at the time was Allen Treaster, a janitor at Disney’s Animal Kingdom attraction, who previously used to work at another Toy Story attraction. Police refer to him in their reports as “the big Teddy bear chaser of young boys” and allege that he went to see an underage boy after sending him a message that he was going to make his “fantasy” come true.

Another defendant was Robert Kingsolver, a Magic Kingdom ride repairman accused of attempting to have sex with minors.

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