Disney Cast Member Arrested On Child Porn Charges

Disney cast member arrested on child porn chargesOn the heels of the recent controversy regarding a Disney cast member who plays Tigger, comes word that another character worker at the parks has been arrested on child porn charges.

Matthew Wendland, 20, was arrested at his apartment last night by police, after an anonymous tip by his roommates. This led them to a suitcase of photos and computer discs full of child pornography that was downloaded from the internet by him. Some of the children involved in sex acts in these photos are said to be as young as 3.

Wendland played Beast of “Beauty and the Beast” at the parks, but occasionally also played other tall characters, like Goofy. Police said on the news that they don’t believe that Wendland, who has been employed by Disney for about 7 months, ever molested or violated any children he encountered at the parks.

Though he has been charged with 51 felony counts of child pornography, Wendland was released this morning on an $8500 bail bond.

According to Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty, “The alleged behavior is something that’s just not tolerated. We feel we’ve taken the appropriate action by suspending him without pay.”

For more on this story, visit WESH.com or the Orlando Sentinel.

I don’t think Disney could have done more than they did with their initial background checks at his hiring, but it’s downright creepy to think that pedophiles can have this kind of access to children in their job, and unless they’d been caught before (which to my knowledge Wendland wasn’t), it’s really hard to single them out.

What are your thoughts on this?

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