A former Royal Caribbean employee, identified as someone who previously “ran children’s programs for Royal Caribbean International,” has been charged with multiple sexual crimes against a 12 year old boy, according to several newspapers.
Andrew Meeks, age 35, a fourth-grade school teacher in Wisconsin, who is on a forced leave of absence during a police investigation, made his initial appearance in criminal court earlier last week after being accused of sexually assaulting a child.
The criminal complaint filed against Meeks alleges four felony sexual crimes:
- sexual assault of a child,
- child enticement,
- causing mental harm to a child, and
- exposing a child to harmful descriptions.
The case arises out of the alleged conduct of Meeks while he was a fourth grade teacher in McFarland, Wisconsin over the last year. Meeks allegedly “inappropriately touched the student against the boy’s wishes, constantly talked about sex, and taught the 12-year-old boy how to find pornography on his phone and hide it from the student’s mother.” The Wisconsin State Journal also reported that Meeks tried to teach him about certain sex acts and masturbation techniques. “The boy said Meeks also told him he believed the boy is gay and encouraged him to ‘come out.’ The boy said he insisted he is not gay, but said Meeks forced him to say he was.” There reportedly were several thousands of text messages between Meeks and the minor.
Meeks reportedly faces a sentence of more than 100 years if convicted.
HNG News outlined Meeks’ prior employment as centering around children. He previously worked as a YMCA camp counselor and taught children in Korea. Upon his return to the United States, he reportedly ran the children’s programs at Royal Caribbean and then began teaching children in Wisconsin among other jobs teaching.
The news reports state that Meeks has no criminal record in Wisconsin. There is no evidence that he committed a crime or acted inappropriately while working for Royal Caribbean. It is less than exactly clear when Meeks worked and what he did for the cruise line.
It is disturbing that someone with an alleged history of sexually abusing a minor like this would have been responble for running Royal Caribbean’s youth activities program. Unless caught by parents, employers and/or the police, pedophiles will spend their lifetimes positioning themselves to have access to children to prey upon.
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Photo credit: Top – HNG News / McFarland Thistle; middle – Ed Treleven Wisconsin State Journal.