Could sex offenders be sitting next to your child on a ride, or standing in line behind them at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando?
In February, a registered sex offender was arrested after Orange County deputies said he exposed himself to a child at Aquatica.
The accused, 52-year-old Gerald Youmans, was convicted in 2004 of exposing himself to a child in Palm Beach. He was designated a sexual predator, but according to an arrest affidavit, he held an annual pass to the theme park.
The incident raised the question: Do theme parks screen for sex offenders?
SeaWorld, along with Universal and Disney, all declined to share specifics of their policies regarding the admittance of sex offenders or whether they screen for them.
Criminal defense attorney Richard Hornsby has represented clients on the sex offender registry and said some of those clients believe Disney denied or revoked their admittance once they discovered their names on the list.
“I’ve had people that also happen to have had season passes, or got their passes online and then after they bought them, got a letter saying their passes are revoked or being cancelled, they’re not allowed to use it,” Hornsby said.
It’s unclear exactly how Disney might search for or flag sex offenders, but one readily available identifier is their driver’s license which carries their designation.