Disney Music Group executive Jon Heely has been charged with three felony counts of child sexual abuse.
The 58-year-old Santa Clarita resident and director of music publishing at Disney has been accused of sexually abusing two underage girls nearly a decade ago.
The first girl was allegedly victimized by Heely when she was 15-years-old. It’s unclear how long this alleged abuse went on. The second girl was allegedly victimized beginning at the age of 11 and this is said to have continued until she was 15.
Heely has been employed by Disney since 1981. A statement released by Disney on Friday evening noted that Heely was suspended as soon as the company was made aware of the formal charges. It reads, in part:
Immediately upon learning of this situation tonight, [Heely] has been suspended without pay until the matter is resolved by the courts.
Heely’s allegedly abusive past is not strictly news, however, as the high-powered and highly-paid executive was arrested over the accusations on November 16 by Santa Clarita deputies affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Heely was quickly released on $150,000 bail after that arrest last month.
On Wednesday, the charges against Heely were formalized. Prosecutors charged him with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, felonies, which combined, carry up to almost 10 years in prison.
At the San Fernando courthouse on Thursday, Heely pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Attorney Robert Helfend spoke for his client. He said, “He vehemently denies these allegations and we will be fighting until the end to clear his name. It’s a shame, that’s all I’ve got to say.”
[image via screengrab/Twitter]