Friday, April 2, 2004

Disney character accused of fondling

(CNN) -- A Walt Disney World employee dressed as the character Tigger at the Orlando, Florida, theme park was arrested Friday on charges of molesting a minor and committing battery against her mother while the three posed for a photo, according to a police affidavit.

Michael Chartrand, 36, was booked on $2,500 bond, according to a spokesman for the Orange County Jail.

Chartrand is accused of fondling the breasts of a woman and her 13-year-old daughter as he stood between them posing for a picture at Walt Disney World's Toontown February 21, according to an affidavit.

Neither reacted at the time, but the girl later told her parents she had been fondled, and eight days later the family filed a report with the Orange County Sheriff.

During an interview with police, Chartrand said he may have inadvertently touched the girl's breast, and added that he suffers from dyslexia, which impaired his memory.

According to a spokeswoman for Disney, Chartrand has been suspended without pay pending an investigation.