Disney World employee arrested for child sex crimes was sending naked photos to an undercover detective pretending to be a 15-year-old girl
Disney World employee arrested for child sex crimes was sending naked photos to an undercover detective pretending to be a 15-year-old girl

Madeleine List

The Charlotte Observer

A Disney World bus driver is one of 12 people accused of child sex crimes in a sting operation conducted by Florida authorities, according to a Florida sheriff’s department.

Thirty-year-old Zachary Hudson, who told officials that he worked as a bus driver at Disney World in Orlando, sent naked pictures of himself and engaged in explicit conversations over text message with a detective who was posing as a 15-year-old girl, according to a news release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

From June 4 to June 5, Hudson talked online to the undercover detective, who asked Hudson if he was OK with her being 15 years old, investigators said.

Hudson replied that “age is just a number,” and later, once the conversation moved to texting over the phone, he told the detective that he would be “honored” to take her virginity.

A warrant was issued for his arrest after police say he sent a nude picture of himself.

The Walt Disney World Resort did not respond to requests for comment.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a news conference that the undercover investigation, called “Operation Child Protector II,” was aimed at finding and arresting people who preyed upon children online.

“What they are doing, these evil people, is lucking online and grooming children online to engage them in sexual conduct,” he said.

The operation began on June 2 and involved the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and two Florida police departments. Detectives posed as 13, 14, and 15-year-old girls on social media platforms, mobile apps and online sites in an attempt to communicate with people who wanted to sexually abuse minors, according to the news release.

Of the 12 people arrested, four showed up to locations arranged by the undercover officers to meet who they thought were children for sex, the release says. One brought condoms with him, and two told detectives they were married, the sheriff’s office said.

The 12 suspects face a total of 49 felony charges, including among others traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, and use of a computer to seduce a child.

Hudson is charged with using a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor, according to the sheriff’s department.

During the news conference, Sheriff Judd recommended that parents regulate their children’s online activity to keep them safe from child predators. He said that parents should not let their children access the internet without having an app themselves that can monitor what their children search and who they communicate with.

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