Disney World worker charged after police sting found he ‘tried to solicit sex with girl online’

Zachary Hudson sent explicit messages and nude - but he was talking to undercover detective

<p>Zachary Hudson</p>

Zachary Hudson

A Disney World worker is among 12 men who have been arrested on suspicion of soliciting children for sex online following a sting operation by police, officials in the US have said.

Zachary Hudson – a bus driver at the Florida resort – was detained after allegedly exchanging messages with an undercover detective posing as a 15-year-old girl.

The detective asked the 30-year-old if he had a problem with her being underage, authorities have said. He is reported to have replied by saying he was happy as long as “my being older doesn’t bother you”. He is later alleged to have told her that “age is just a number”.

In a series of text messages sent after the pair swapped numbers, he also sent a nude photo, police say.

Officers obtained a warrant for Hudson’s arrest following the exchange and he was taken into custody in Orlando. He appeared to be in his Disney World uniform when he was collared, mug shot images show.

“What would an operation be — either a pornography investigation or predator operation or human trafficking operation — without a Disney employee?” asked Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in a media conference afterwards. “We always have a Disney employee.”

Hudson has been charged with one count of using a two-way communication device to commit a felony and one count of transmitting material harmful to a minor.

The other suspects arrested as part of the sting – dubbed Operation Child Protector II – are aged between 20 and 67, and face a total of 49 charges.

Detectives said four of the suspects travelled to an undercover location to allegedly have sex with what they thought were 13 or 15-year-old girls while the other eight suspects were arrested on suspicion of sending sexually explicit content to youngsters they thought were aged between 13 and 15.

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