Ron DeSantis Cracks Down on Disney World Child Predators With New Law

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Three-part image featuring a man in a suit with a featureless mask, Ron DeSantis speaking at a podium, and a young girl in a butterfly costume with Minnie ears reaching up to someone inside Disney World.

Image Credit: Inside The Magic

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is cracking down on child predators, which means Walt Disney World Resort will have to abide by these new rules thanks to a law now in effect.

Ron DeSantis waving with a smile, superimposed over an image of the colorful entrance to walt disney world, suggests a greeting or a celebratory moment at the renowned theme park.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Ron DeSantis Signs New Law Targeting Child Predators in Florida, Walt Disney World

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a significant stride in addressing child-related sexual offenses by signing five new bills into law. The moment occurred during a press conference held in St. Petersburg on Wednesday morning. Let’s delve into the details of each bill:

House Bill 1545 prohibits adults from engaging in a pattern of communication with minors that includes explicit and detailed verbal descriptions of sexual activity.

House Bill 1131 establishes a grant program within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement aimed at creating online sting operations to target sexual predators.

Ron DeSantis smiling juxtaposed against a contrasting scene of Disney World behind a foreboding wall topped with barbed wire, symbolizing an ironic or surreal blend of joy and restriction at Disney.
Credit: Inside The Magic

House Bill 1235 introduces stricter guidelines for sex offender registration, aiming to enhance the state’s efforts in monitoring and tracking individuals with a history of sexual offenses.

Senate Bill 1224 strengthens the role of the Statewide Guardian Office and implements new training requirements for law enforcement to ensure a more comprehensive assessment of domestic violence situations.

House Bill 305 expands the scope of evidence admissible in jury trials for sex abuse cases involving minor victims and imposes harsher penalties on individuals involved in the trafficking of minors.

The DeSantis Disney District with Minnie Mouse and Ron DeSantis.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Disney’s Troubling History With Child Predators

In a recent sex sting operation conducted in Florida, 16 individuals, including some employed at theme parks, were apprehended as sex predators. The discovery raises concerns about how such individuals secure employment in settings frequented by children.

Since DeSantis won a State-level lawsuit in court against Disney, the two seem to have hit things off, with a DeSantis Disney duo creating new horizons, like expansion to the Magic Kingdom Park. The Walt Disney Company did speak out on these child predator problems, ensuring that the Walt Disney Parks are adhering to the Florida lawmakers and any requested documents.

Disney World Spokesperson Jacquee Wahler asserts that Disney prioritizes safety and collaborates closely with law enforcement and organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bolster efforts against hiring sex predators.

Wahler further highlights the extensive measures in place, including pre-employment and ongoing criminal background checks, as well as computer monitoring and firewalls, aimed at safeguarding guests and maintaining a secure environment within the park.

Composite image featuring Governor DeSantis in a suit speaking animatedly, superimposed next to an image of the Disney castle under a clear blue sky.
Credit: Inside the Magic

In 2019, Disney’s vice president, Michael Laney, made headlines when he was arrested on charges of repeated sexual abuse involving a seven-year-old girl. Laney, aged 73 at the time of his arrest, had been employed by Disney for several decades.

Following his arrest and subsequent sentencing, additional individuals came forward to disclose their experiences of abuse by Laney. However, despite these allegations, insufficient evidence existed to substantiate the claims made against him. The case underscores the complexities and challenges inherent in prosecuting cases of sexual abuse, particularly when historical allegations are involved.

Governor DeSantis emphasized the significance of these measures during the press conference, stating, “Today’s anti-grooming legislation punishes those who seek to prey on children and rob them of their innocence. Florida will continue to be the best state in the country to raise a family.”

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