Haines City geometry teacher among the 16 arrested in child porn and underage sex sting

An undercover sex sting in Polk County led to the arrest of 16 men, including a Haines City geography teacher.
 
The first part of the operation focused on child pornography, leading deputies to arrest Matthew Tillesen on 50 counts of child porn possession, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
 
Tillesen, a teacher at Haines City High School, told deputies he had child porn on his computer because he was creating an online role playing sex game for kids.
 
"That's why this is a dangerous man," said Sheriff Grady Judd.
 
Tillesen also worked as a substitute teacher in Pinellas County for more than two years.
 
Judd said Tillesen would also go to public places like parks and ball fields to photograph kids.
 
"It makes it uneasy to even go to these places and have them enjoy and understanding that someone else is out there doing something else," said Joel Vargas, who enjoys taking his kids to Lake Eva park in Haines City.
 
Parents call it the ultimate betrayal of trust.
 
"It's beyond sickening. You're not safe taking your kids anywhere," said Lisa Kellar, also at the park with her kids.
 
The second part of the undercover operation focused on men accused of arranging to travel to a home to have sex with children as young as 12.
 
When they arrived at the house, a team of detectives met them instead.
 
Video taken by deputies shows some of the takedowns.
 
"Almost every one of them admitted to us that what they were doing was wrong, that they were there to engage in sex with children," Judd said.
 
Investigators said detectives used various web sites and apps to meet the men.
 
While some took the bait, Judd said many more stopped as soon as the undercover detective said they were underage.
 
Among the 16 arrested, two men worked for Disney World and another suspect listed Universal Studios as his place of employment.
 
Judd said if your children had contact with Tillesen or any of the men arrested, talk with them and if necessary, contact the Sheriff's Office.
 
They believe there could be victims anywhere from Polk to Pinellas County.
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