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FL: 9 Investigates crackdown on sex offenders inside Disney World

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — 

A six-month-long Eyewitness News investigation has uncovered sweeping background checks at Disney parks in central Florida — checks targeting registered sex offenders.

Investigative reporter Christopher Heath dug through hundreds of pages of Orange County Sheriff’s Office trespass reports, and they show a consistent pattern of documented sex offenders getting kicked off of Disney properties. Full Article

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Bluewall says:

    soon… anyone can instantly deny service by swiping your driver license through a system.. Even though the Megan list should be use to inform the public for its protection not denial of service…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +4

  2. alert says:

    And we continue to see how vile – ignorant, prejudiced, and stupid people can be towards the children of registrants. They should be ashamed!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +3

  3. Eric Knight says:

    First, I agree…to a point… about Disney refusing service to certain people. That said, it is not a black and white issue. For instance, there is nothing in their TOS that indicates that registered sex offenders (gradations notwithstanding) are banned from the establishment. This is easily actionable.

    Now, to more pertinent points: The registrant had purchased the tickets in conjunction with his family’s tickets. Had the establishment had simply denied selling him his ticket in the first place, then the registrant may have planned his family vacation differently. Instead, he allocated hundreds of dollars, perhaps thousands when travel, hotel, and other incidentals are all calculated together, with the expectation of being able to go to Disney without problems. It was ONLY when he got to the park and scanned his thumb, and presumably other security checks, was he refused admittance.

    Ostensibly, the park uses its own standards for refusing admittance; in this case, inclusion on the sex offender registry was one of them. But it says nothing of it in its TOS; instead, it has clauses which indicate that someone could get kicked out if his BEHAVIOR, once admitted, was deemed to be criminal or disruptive. So a registrant would have NO KNOWLEDGE if he were allowed in the park or not.

    It is unclear if the registrant got a refund on his ticket, but the TOS clearly states that being kicked out for the above reasons did not entitle a guest to a refund; since the registrant never even entered the park, this could not be the underlying reason for not issuing a refund on his ticket.

    Another point: if the registrant lived outside of the state of Florida, and were refused admittance on this basis, then he would not only have Florida state laws but US Constitutional commerce clause violation statutes protecting him in this manner.

    Finally, there is the point of differing standards: Other registrants who pay single use tickets or other such methods will not be checked on the registry, which leads to a due process violation. This is especially problematic for the park to defend, as either they now have to check everyone coming into the park, or nobody, no matter how they issue their tickets.

    In my opinion, a registrant would have a very good case against Disney. Since there is no explicit restriction against registered sex offenders in the TOS, and there is no reasonable way a registrant could know whether he would be restricted or not until he was checked, then that easily puts the burden on Disney to defend.

    My question: We have Disneyland, in Anaheim. I wonder what the trespass list looks like at the Anaheim PD with regard to season holders for Disneyland. If there are any, that could potentially be a lucrative case for CARSOL to consider.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +8

    • Joe says:

      I’ll admit I did not spend a whole lot of time, but I looked both at the Terms of Service of Disneyworld as well as the Municipal Codes of Orange (FL) and Osceola Counties. Nowhere did I find anything about registrants being prohibited from entering the park in particular or certain areas in general.

      Given the latter, how can Disney have forwarded the matter to the Sheriff’s department? While they are a private company and can do as they please (with advance notice / policy as a reasonable person would expect) I do not see how this is a matter for Law Enforcement.

      I sure hope one of these people will sue Disney over this. I also wonder if anything like this has ever happened at Disneyland in Anaheim.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +5

  4. Bluewall says:

    I’m sure it does… Anyone remember that stink awhile back about a sex offender who’s register address was in the heart of Disney (I think the main hotel in the actual park)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

  5. J says:

    I’m not certain what states make it illegal to deny business services to registrants, however CA does but appears to do nothing to enforce it. Face book is in the business of thumbing their noses at the law but I have not heard of anyone challenging this. Does anyone know if CA has taken face book to task about their policy or do they just side with money?

    Nothing that comes out of Florida should shock anyone but we have even grown used to these types of practices here on the West Coast. The problem with the list at large is it does not inform the business when the conviction took place. As I’ve said in previous posts, anyone convicted at 1944 (69 years ago!) could face this type of harassment and I don’t see lawmakers lifting a finger to address this blatant breach of constitutional rights.

    Disney has tons of money so I hope they get hit hard with a lawsuit, not for the damage it will do them, but for the justice that should be rendered to the registrant and his family. When Disney talks about “Family Values” they ought to have the stones to come out and say “That Children of Registrants Excluded!” There is no right way to do the wrong thing, especially thing like this that undoubtedly have Walt turning in his grave…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +3

  6. mike says:

    “Legislation proposed in Washington state last week would allow businesses to deny service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population and others, based on religious differences.”

    “And others”? In certain respects it would seem society/humanity is regressing.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/26/washington-discrimination-gay_n_3164812.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

    • J says:

      makes a person sick – for lack of better terms. This whole thing is a very slippery slope. We will realize the loss of freedoms way after the fact and it will be with grave difficulty, hardship and strife – that we all know too well – IF and when we can recover them. The whole country should be paying attention to each and every one of these laws. I’m afraid too many citizens are asleep at the wheel, leaving governance solely to elected officials. Will the country wake up only after everyone’s rights are infringed upon and we are gasping for the air of freedom?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

  7. USA says:

    This is a really, really, really disturbing article. In essence, people need to really take notice of this. In summary, the thought of a business establishment banning someone for a prior criminal history is highly disturbing! I mean, what’s next? Background checks prior to entering amusement parks? Malls? Movie Theaters? Water Parks? Maybe in another 10-years we will see signs stating: Those convicted of felonies aren’t admitted? Don’t take this lightly. This is very, very serious. What’s next? Did you know there are some states requiring Sex Offenders to special drivers licenses stating they are SEX OFFENDERS? Uh, can you imagine going to a bank or trying to get a loan or purchase an automobile? I mean, can you imagine trying to apply for a credit card, bank loan or showing a potential leasing agent your ID? Thats very disturbing. Whats next? Computer chip implantation? We already have (Im not sure or aware of the exact details) sex offenders being released from Prison who must wear ankle braclets? Unbelievable. I’m in awe. Unless something is done, this will only get worst?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +4

  8. USA says:

    I did want to add one item. This was a little thought provoking. I actually visited Marina Land San Diego about a year ago. I had a wonderful time. ALthough, something happened when I entered the park that really caught my attention. After paying and just prior to entering the gate, EVERYONE was required to provide a thumb print? I was a little perplexed. In essence, I wasn’t paranoid about anything, but it was kind of shocking? I’ve never entered any establishment where I’m required to provide a thumb print? What if i had refused? What do they do with the thumb print? Any thoughts? I can only imagine that if something had occurred that day out of the norm (abduction/robbery/?), they might have ran the prints? Or, maybe they would hand over the prints to the police? DO they have the right to do this? Or, what do they do with the prints? This is an interesting topic and something to think about!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

    • J says:

      this sure smacks of big brother, not knowing what is going to be done with the data.
      Did this happen after you paid. I would have refused and asked for a refund, of course, they know doing so would spoil the fun for the family. This should cause concern for everyone. It is apparent that freedom has become a myth in the digital age.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

  9. EJ says:

    ODisney turns away sex offenders but people on there are not all preditors some are on there for indecent exposure or whatever else there’s all kinds of reasons why people are on it. I think if they’re not gonna let people on the registry in then it should be the high risk ones that are a major risk to the public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

    • j says:

      What Disney needs is for everyone to refuse to allow them to scan their thumb prints.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

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