Disney Employees Among Those Arrested in Child Abuse Sting

  • Three Disney theme park employees have been arrested in Florida as part of an undercover sting operation to catch sexual predators who target children via the internet.

    The suspects are among 17 individuals arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) under the Operation Child Protector initiative. The initiative was a joint effort involving detectives from the Auburndale Police Department, Orlando Police Department, Winter Haven Police Department, and Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

    From July 27 to August 1, detectives posed as juveniles on social media platforms, mobile apps, and online dating sites to investigate those seeking to lure children into meeting them for unlawful sexual activity.

    Most of the suspects were arrested when they turned up to what they allegedly believed was going to be a meeting with a minor that would have a sexual outcome.

    One of the suspects, 26-year-old Kenneth Javier Aquino of Orlando, who told deputies he is a lifeguard at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, turned up to meet a minor for sex wearing his Disney polo shirt, swimming trunks, and a pair of Crocs.

    In a statement, the PCSO said: “The suspects communicated with and solicited who they thought were children between the ages of 13 and 14 for sex acts. The suspects showed up to an undercover location in Polk County at separate times to meet who they thought were children, to sexually batter them.”

    The PCSO alleges that some of the suspects arrested during the sting transmitted pornographic images while grooming and soliciting children online.

    The group of suspects, who range in age from 26 to 47 years old, face a total of 49 felony and two misdemeanor charges. All but one of the suspects is from the central Florida area.

    Within the group are couple 34-year-old Jonathan McGrew and 29-year-old Savannah Lawrence of Kissimmee, who are accused of soliciting a 13-year-old to come to their apartment and have sex with them.

    McGrew and Lawrence, who are further accused of sending a video of themselves having sex to a minor, told deputies that they are custodians at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios.