69ºF

Disney lifeguard charged in FBI child porn investigation, records show

William Barrett held without bail

William Barrett, 28, is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
William Barrett, 28, is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

ORLANDO, Fla. – An FBI investigation of a New York child porn case led to the arrest of a Disney employee in Florida, who special agents say sent graphic images to another suspect in the New York case.

The investigation of the New York man, who is accused of exploiting two children, led FBI special agents to William Earl Barrett, 28, of Clermont, according to the investigation report.

FBI agents learned on March 22 that Barrett was sent child pornography to the suspect in New York, the report shows.

FBI agents interviewed Barrett on March 27 at the Orlando theme park where he was employed. Barrett works as a lifeguard at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, according to his Facebook page.

A Disney spokesperson said Barrett has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the charges.

Barrett told the agents he had a hard drive at his home in Clermont that contained videos and images of children being spanked, but said he didn't believe that was child pornography. He also admitted to sharing those images with the suspect in New York, according to the report.

The alleged crimes occurred between July 29, 2017, and March 27, 2018, in Lake County, according to the criminal complaint filed against Barrett. FBI agents found images on Barrett's hard drive matching those found in the New York case and traced Barrett's cellphone data on July 29, 2017, the day the images were sent, according to the report. The investigation showed that Barrett sent the images from Lake Buena Vista, Florida, while he was working, according to the cellphone data.

Many of the images found were graphic in nature and depicted more than spanking, according to the report.

Barrett was arrested by the U.S. marshals stationed in Orlando on March 30 and booked into the Seminole County Jail. He is charged with possession and is being distribution of child pornography and held without bail.