Published April 09, 2004
ORLANDO, Fla. – Authorities have received 24 more complaints in the week since a Walt Disney World (search) employee was charged with molesting a 13-year-old girl and her mother while dressed as the character "Tigger." (search)
Thirteen of the cases have been deemed credible enough to be investigated, while the others are being reviewed, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
Michael Chartrand (search), 36, was arrested April 2 and charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12 and 15 and one count of simple battery. He was booked at the Orange County Jail on a $2,500 bond.
In that case the sheriff's office received a complaint that the costumed character had touched the girl and her mother inappropriately while their pictures were being taken Feb. 21.
According to an incident report, Chartrand fondled the breasts of the girl and the mother while posing for pictures at the Magic Kingdom's Toon Town.
The new reports make similar allegations. Erin Rivera, 21, said the Tigger character touched her breast while hugging her.
"I don't think it was a mistake," she said. "Everybody who goes through my photo album says, 'Tigger is groping you."'
Chartrand has been suspended without pay. Disney declined to comment on the latest allegations.
"It appears we have 24 folks that feel there may have been something inappropriate and that something happened to them," sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons said. "It appears all of our complaints are focusing on Tigger."