Whether you’re hitting up your favorite theme park or walking through the streets of Times Square, chances are you’ve had a run-in with at least one costumed character.
People don the costumes of some of kids’ favorite pop culture characters as a way to provide entertainment and can be found all throughout destinations like Disney World and Universal Studios. But there's a more bizarre side to dressing up, and people who do it for social (and sometimes even sexual) reasons are known as "furries."
Although most furry-themed gatherings are pretty innocent, if not odd, these grown men used the furry movement to sexually abuse a young boy.
Five men have been arrested in Pennsylvania after it was discovered that they were sexually abusing a young boy while dressing up as furries.
Kenneth Fenske, David Parker, Jeffrey Harvey Craig Knox, and Stephen Taylor, all from Bucks County and the surrounding areas, were arrested.
In his testimony to investigators, the young boy revealed that these men would pick him up and take him to a home where they would all put on furry costumes before sexually abusing him.
Fenske, who dressed up as a red fox that he referred to as “Lupine,” would initiate the abuse by luring the boy upstairs while at "furry parties."
At one point during the more than seven years of abuse, the young boy was forced to wear a Tony the Tiger costume so abusers could indulge their sick fetishes. The boy also revealed that he believes that he was the only child in attendance during these gatherings.
Police became aware of the furry parties after an undercover sting revealed that Harvey was trying to seduce an undercover agent posing as a teenage boy via text message.
All five men have been arrested and charged with child rape, unlawful contact with a minor, possession of child pornography, and several additional abuse charges.
The investigation is ongoing, and it is believed that more arrests will be made in the near future. Court documents have revealed that the boy named in the case is related to at least one of the men responsible for the sexual abuse. He is currently in foster care and is actively seeking therapy in the hopes of healing and moving on.