Los Angeles, Dec 9: Jon Heely, the director of music publishing at Disney, has been charged with three felony counts of child sexual abuse.
Heely, 58, of Santa Clarita, is accused of sexually abusing two underage girls approximately a decade ago.
He allegedly victimized the first girl when she was 15. According to the charges, he began abusing the second when she was about 11 years old and continued until she was 15, reports variety.com.
In a statement, a Disney spokesman said the company suspended Heely late on Friday, after being informed of the charges.
“Immediately upon learning of this situation tonight, he has been suspended without pay until the matter is resolved by the courts,” the spokesman said.
Heely was arrested on November 16 by deputies from the Santa Clarita station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Booking records indicate he was later released on $150,000 bail.
On Wednesday, prosecutors charged him with three counts of lewd acts on a child. Heely pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at the San Fernando courthouse on Thursday.
He is due back in court on January 10 next year. If convicted, he faces up to nine years and three months in prison.
Heely’s attorney, Robert Helfend, denied the charges.
“He vehemently denies these allegations and we will be fighting until the end to clear his name,” Helfend said.
“It’s a shame, that’s all I’ve got to say.”
Heely has been with Disney since 1981, and oversees licensing of the vast catalog of music from Disney films.
He also produced a series of Disney concerts around the world, such as “Fantasia Live in Concert”, that feature orchestral performances and film clips.