Sunday, September 19, 2004
Disney (The Three Little Molesters)
Urban Legends Reference Pages: "In 2004, a Disney cast member was actually prosecuted on criminal charges. Michael C. Chartrand, a Walt Disney World employee who worked inside a Tigger costume, was the subject of a police investigation after a 13-year-old girl complained that he had fondled her breast while she posed for a photo with him and her mother in WDW's Magic Kingdom park on 21 February 2004. (The girl's mother maintained that she had been similarly fondled, but her allegation was not an element of the criminal case.) Mr. Chartrand was arrested in April 2004 and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and simple battery; by the following week 24 more complaints about him had been lodged with authorities. (All of the other complainants either lacked sufficient evidence to press charges or were unwilling to do so, however.)
Mr. Chartrand declined a plea bargain and took his case to trial, and in August 2004 a jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a verdict of 'not guilty' on the charge of lewd and lascivious molestation. As part of his closing argument, Mr. Chartrand's attorney, Jeffrey Kaufman (who himself worked for Disney as a costumed character), donned the Tigger costume to demonstrate to jurors the difficulty of maneuvering and seeing while inside in the outfit. "
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