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Busch Gardens employee arrested for sexual battery

Busch Gardens employee arrested for sexual battery

  • PublishedJune 6, 2024

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone else who may have been victimized to come forward.

TAMPA, Fla. — A Busch Gardens employee was arrested after allegedly inappropriately messaging and touching an 8-year-old.

Douglas McGee, 34, was arrested by Hillsborough County Sheriff‘s deputies on Tuesday after detectives learned McGee gave the 8-year-old a cell phone and engaged in inappropriate messaging, according to a news release. 

Deputies said McGee admitted to inappropriate text messaging, touching and sexual battery with the victim who was a family friend. McGee was also the supervisor of the victim’s brother at Busch Gardens, deputies said.

McGee has been employed at the theme park since December 2021 and was a part-time Park Quality Supervisor in Stanleyville at the time of the incident and his arrest, according to the release.

“Preying upon an innocent child and exploiting their vulnerability is deeply disturbing. My heart goes out to this child who was victimized by such a reprehensible individual,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister in a statement. “Our detectives are committed to ensuring that individuals like this cannot victimize our children. We urge the community: if you or someone you know has been a victim of this man, please contact law enforcement.”

McGee is facing numerous charges including three counts of lewd or lascivious molestation, one count of transmission of harmful material to a minor, one count of unlawful use of a two-way communication device and one count of sexual battery, according to court records. All of the charges are felonies.

Anyone with information on this case or who believes they might be a victim of McGee is urged to call the sheriff’s office at 813-247-8200. 

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