In 2013 alone, more than 50 million visitors passed through the turnstiles of Disney’s four Orlando-area theme parks. Add in Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and SeaWorld and the annual attendance numbers swell to more than 70 million, many of them children.
A new six-month investigation by CNN shows that in recent years, more than three dozen Central Florida amusement parks employees have been arrested for sex crimes involving children, including some just this month.
Since 2006, at least 35 Disney employees have been arrested and accused of sex crimes involving children, including trying to meet a minor for sex or possession of child pornography, CNN reported.
Among the 35 arrests at Disney, two came earlier this month as part of Operation Cyber Child III, an undercover sex sting conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, which targeted adults traveling to meet minors for sex and possessing child pornography.
Arrested were Allen Treaster, 40, a concierge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge who formerly worked at Disney’s Toy Story Ride; and Zachary Spencer, 26, also a Disney employee.
CNN reported that Treaster was arrested after showing up at a home to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old boy to "fulfill a fantasy." While unsuccessful in that attempt, police say that during interrogation, Treaster admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old in June after traveling to Georgia.
The arrests also include employees of other Central Florida theme parks. Since 2006, authorities have arrested five Universal Studios employees – including one earlier this month – and two SeaWorld employees on similar charges.
Though none of the cases involved children or teens visiting the theme parks, two cases of child pornography occurred on Disney property, police said.
"Wherever you find children, you'll find sexual predators that want to be there," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told CNN.
To date, 32 have been convicted, CNN reported; other cases are still pending.
To read more of the investigation, visit CNN's special report.