This past week, twenty-two men came to a house in Clermont, Florida, with a single purpose on their minds: Sex with an underage girl.
Those who sought the sex included an employee of Disney World in Orlando and two others who spent time with children at the Universal Studios theme park there.
“He traveled to have sex with a 14-year-old child,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said of Jeff Conrad, who worked for Disney. “He had access to kids.”
Another man arrested was Ahmad Saleem, a community activist and counselor in Florida.
The Florida sting also netted teenage prostitutes, one pregnant, and a man who drove his teen wife to her job servicing men as a prostitute. It was, he said,”the way we paid the bills.”
At other end of the country, 27-year-old Darreck Michael Enciso, worked at Disneyland in California and offered to trade amusement park tickets to a 14-year-old girl is she would have sex with him.
Enciso used Craigslist to exchange tickets for sex with underage girls.
In Canon City, Colorado, more than 100 high school students turned up exchanging hundreds of photos of teenage girls in an illicit photo ring run by the school’s varsity football team. They hid the activities for months by using “ghost apps” on their smartphones.
The football team forfeited their final scheduled game of the season because of the scandal.
“We’re not talking a couple kids that did something stupid,” Canon City superintendent George Welsh told The Denver Post. “This is large scale, a lot of kids, equally male and female.”
A common response we hear around here is “thank God nothing like this happens in Floyd County.”
An Indian Valley man is serving multiple life terms for having what he claimed was consensual sex with a 13-year-old elementary school girl.
Another is in prison for child pornography charges. A Floyd businessman and his son went to prison for the same charges.
A local grandfather eats breakfast regularly at The Blue Ridge Restaurant with his wife. He went to prison several years ago for admitting having sex with his granddaughter, who was not even a teenager at the time.
“I loved my granddaughter,” he told the judge at his sentencing. “I guess I loved her too much.”
Want more information on the predators among us? Visit the Virginia Sexual Offender Database online.
In Floyd County courts, we see step fathers who have sex with step daughters, uncles who engage in statutory rape of nieces and other youngsters who are targets of predators who live under the same roofs.
Yes, it happens here. It happens elsewhere. It happens everywhere.