Disney World Tigger character arrested for molestation charge

Posted Monday, April 5, 2004 8:03 AM | Contributed by SquishyMon

A cast member playing Tigger at Disney World allegedly groped 13-year old girl and her mother while they were posing for a picture. Michael Chartrand, 36, was charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12 and 15 years old and one count of simple battery.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Monday, April 5, 2004 1:44 PM
What I don't understand is this...According to them, the incident happened the afternoon of 2/21. Allegedly the daughter told mom that night...then eight days later, the dad and daughter file a police report and mom is not there / not filing her accusation.

This sounds kinda fishy/odd to me. If this was my daughter, we'd have gone right to the cops that night, not wait a week... And what's up with the mom not being there?

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Monday, April 5, 2004 2:11 PM
Jeff's avatar Why would anyone make up something like that though? The guy didn't deny it either. I've counseled rape victims before, and a ridiculous percentage never report what happens out of shame and embarrassment. While this is far from rape, the same principles apply.

People make stuff up, I don't doubt that (see: Kobe's gold digger). But while the mom and daughter in this case might have wanted to just forget about it, all it takes is a break down and the father/husband would go nuts. I'm sure I would.

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Monday, April 5, 2004 4:44 PM
Read the actual police report Jeff, not what the reporter's saying.

"The Defendant admitted that he might have 'inadvertently' touched the breast of the victim. ... I asked the defendant if he would like to write an apology letter to the victim and he said he would. The defendant said he was very sorry for everything that had occurred. He also hoped that the victim would forgive him for what he had done."

Now note, that is the policeman's synopsis of what he wrote, those are not even the defendant's own words.

Also, he told the officer "that he has someone take photographs of him while he is in character. The defendant told me I could see the photographs if I wanted to."

Sounds like he isn't afraid to have the officer look into this.

I wonder what the proof is, because if they are just going on testimony, it's a he said/she said situation with no evidence going either way.

I'm not saying he's innocent, but give me more proof before everyone goes lynching the guy. Who knows in 3 months he could be exonerated but unfortunately, it won't make the news and will be a two sentence story buried on page 23 of the paper. Meanwhile, the guy's life is ruined...

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Monday, April 5, 2004 5:18 PM
Why would anyone make up something like that though?

I can only assume you were tired and not really thinking about this statement Jeff. Nobody knows what happened yet, but certainly you would agree that people "make up" false accusations/stories all the time. It is not really a reach to think a family might be making up a story to shakedown Disney is it? I assume there could be a civil settlement coming their way should they get a sympathetic jury and have even a crappy case.

Again, I make no claims of guilt or innocence. But I certainly would not feign shock that anybody could “make up” a story like this.

P.S. I note that you try to redeem yourself by citing Kobe and admitting people make stuff up. Does this no contradict your whole post, and thus neutralize any point you tried to make?

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Monday, April 5, 2004 11:44 PM
I just dont know what to say..........I dont see how this can happen. If i see bugs grabbing a kids knockers then i would report it to some athorities right away. And where were the people that be w/ the characters?? Did they see something. Something about this story is got me stratching me head on this one. I think he just so happen to brush across her "stuff" and didnt mean anything to him thats why he probably cant recall. Now i can see if he was goinf all under her skirt or trying to see which one of her breast were heavier than the other but like i said............this is confusing me.

hope i didnt offend anyone...............*** This post was edited by coasterbruh 4/5/2004 11:45:47 PM ***

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Tuesday, April 6, 2004 8:15 AM
Jeff's avatar This is not a civil matter... it's a criminal matter. Unless you're OJ Simpson, this isn't the kind of thing that lands up in a civil suit. Victims of this kind of crime don't want to go to trial twice, and you'd have a real hard time proving that Disney was responsible for it unless he had prior convictions.

What annoys me is that any time a park or one of its employees gets into trouble, people come running to their side absolutely positive that there was no wrong doing. Despite being an overly-litigious culture, there are, believe it or not, when the law should get involved.

*** This post was edited by Jeff 4/6/2004 8:18:30 AM ***

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Tuesday, April 6, 2004 8:49 AM
Jeff, I am not running to his side because he works at a theme park and I am not absolutely positive he is innocent.

I just have issues and questions about the story from the girl. There are just some inconsistencies that have me (and my wife) scratching our heads... All we know is if my daughter told my wife that Tigger touched her inappropriately, we'd call the cops and the park immediately...not wait a week, and then not have the mom there who also was allegedly groped too.

All I have commented on is what I have seen in the police reports, I have said nothing about, "Oh, this is Disney, nothing like this could happen there!" or anything of the sort.
*** This post was edited by redman822 4/6/2004 8:50:34 AM ***

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Tuesday, April 6, 2004 9:59 AM
Jeff's avatar And I'm saying that until you're in the situation, you don't know what you'd do. I've counseled a rape victim that didn't come forward for four years. We've seen how victims of the priest scandal kept quiet for decades. A week is nothing.

Too many people here have already ruled out the possibility that it just can't be true, and that's ridiculous.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2004 11:40 AM
But in her statement to the police she said she told her mom that night. It's not like she finally decided to tell her parents until the 29th then they immediately notified authorities. If that was the case, I wouldn't be as skeptical.

Besides, Jeff, what happened to being presumed innocent? If I was on this jury, with the information given, I would not have sufficient evidence to convict this guy.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2004 1:01 PM
Jeff's avatar I didn't say he was guilty... I said everyone else is too quick to dismiss the claims in the first place. Is that not what's happening?
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Tuesday, April 6, 2004 3:54 PM
This is not a civil matter... it's a criminal matter.

I see no way this does not end up with a civil implication unless criminal court throws this out without merit. At the very least there is a small threshold to prove negligence on the parks behalf. You need one prior patron or fellow employee to say that they saw this happen before and then... Time will tell who is correct on this matter.

I can only speak for me personally, but I know I have not claimed any guilt or innocence. Some seem to automatically take the parks side and others seem to automatically take the claimants side. You seem to be in the second camp in the sense that you quote the merits of your past counseling activities as some sort of indication that this particular claimant is telling, or could be telling the truth. I agree that we should not automatically disregard what the claimant has to say just because she waited for a period of time. However, it certainly will be used by the defense to weaken the accusation.

I prefer to see this as innocent until proven guilty. I’ll give the guy the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. The burden falls upon the plaintiffs in the court of law and in the court of my mind!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2004 5:57 PM
Look at that mug shot. That guy is soooo going to jail.
$20 says more people he pawed will come forward, too.

I have spoken.

-CO

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