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NOTGUILTY FL - Tigger accused of groping 13yo girl at Walt Disney World, 21 Feb 2004

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Casshew, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    'Tigger' arrested on molestation charges

    Costumed character at Disney World charged with fondling girl, mother.

    By Anthony Colarossi | Sentinel Staff Writer
    Posted April 2, 2004, 4:49 PM EST

    Orange County Sheriff's Office investigators have arrested a Walt Disney World employee who worked as the character "Tigger" and charged him with molesting a 13-year-old girl and her mother while posing with them for pictures in February.

    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.

    He was booked into the Orange County Jail today on a $2,500 bond.

    A Disney spokeswoman said Chartrand has been suspended without pay.

    The sheriff's office received a complaint that a costumed character at Disney World had touched a girl and her mother inappropriately while their pictures were being taken with the character 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.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-bk-tigger040204,0,396560.story?coll=orl-home-headlines
     
  2. annemc2

    annemc2 her name is Suzanne Marie Sevakis

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    this is so creepy - especially for me, because when i was around fifteen years old I went on a disney cruise with my family and I was totally freaked out by the Tigger character. Although he didn't actually grope or fondle me, he was always trying to pose with me in photos and putting his arm around me. can't help but wonder if it's the same guy......

    eeeeeew :eek:
     
  3. Toth

    Toth Inactive

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    Seems strange that such behavior would take place as the camera was rolling!
     
  4. Toth

    Toth Inactive

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    It seems DOZENS of similar complaints are now emerging.
     
  5. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Well, in defense of "Tigger"--we went to Disney Land last summer, and Tigger was our favorite character--signed the autograph book "I am not a princess! Tigger!" because of all the princess siggies. (Note: this happened at Disney World, not Disney Land, where we went.)

    The Tigger character is supposed to show a lot of "personality." Sounds like this was a little too much--eeuuwww--I sincerely hope it's not true.

    Disney has "handlers" with every character. They stand near the character and make sure they stay on schedule, aren't mauled to death, etc, etc, and of course, act appropriately, so I'm surprised any character could get away with such actions.
     
  6. Toth

    Toth Inactive

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    Also the surveillance camera coverage is rather extensive too usually.
     
  7. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    leopard can't change its spots, but Walt Disney World wants to hide Tigger's stripes -- at least when the costume of the bouncy tiger shows up next week in court in a sexual-molestation trial.

    To protect the frenetic feline's innocent image, a Disney lawyer has suggested that the orange Tigger costume be dyed black or white and its ears be removed. The lawyer made the request to the attorney representing Michael C. Chartrand in the trial that is scheduled to start Monday.

    Chartrand was suspended after he was charged with molesting a 13-year-old girl in February while he was dressed as Tigger at Disney World's Toon Town.

    Any case in which a child's storybook character is linked to a sex crime is bound to be strange. But the arrest was just the prelude of what now promises to be a bizarre courtroom showdown.


    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/florida/sfl-731tigger,0,2476787.story?coll=sfla-news-florida
     
  8. BirdieBoo

    BirdieBoo New Member

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    Wouldn't that be tampering with evidence?
     
  9. Ghostwheel

    Ghostwheel Pyrrhonist

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    So how are you going to protect the image when the person (allegedly) ALREADY used the Tigger costume to sexually molest a child?

    I'm not getting the point here....
     
  10. LovelyPigeon

    LovelyPigeon Former Member

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    Jury acquits Tigger performer
    Michael C. Chartrand has been cleared of molesting a 13-year-old girl at Disney World.

    By Anthony Colarossi | Sentinel Staff Writer
    Posted August 5, 2004
    A jubilant Michael C. Chartrand celebrated his freedom Wednesday night after jurors quickly acquitted him of molesting a 13-year-old girl while he was dressed as Tigger at Walt Disney World.

    Jurors, who tried on the costume's paws and head during their deliberations, took less than an hour to clear Chartrand.

    After hearing the verdict, he hugged his attorney and members of his family. He later thanked the jury.

    "I just want to thank them for spending their time to do what they did, and sorry they had to waste their own time," said Chartrand, 36, who has been suspended without pay from Disney.

    The girl who told police Chartrand touched her breast sat with her mother and other family members in the courtroom's front row. They gasped at the words not guilty and were hustled out of the courthouse away from reporters.

    Asked whether he was bitter, Chartrand said, "I was brought up to be a gentleman and a scholar the English, old-fashioned way, and so I have no animosity to anybody. I have values that most Americans would probably wish to have." He moved to Central Florida from England last year.

    His acquittal ends a three-day trial that gained international attention and became the subject of jokes on late-night television.
    --->>

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news...aug05,1,1034876.story?coll=orl-news-headlines
     
  11. LovelyPigeon

    LovelyPigeon Former Member

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    "Tigger" was offered a plea deal before the trial began, but refused it.

    Before the trial, heard by Orange Circuit Judge Bob Wattles, Assistant State Attorney William Jay offered Chartrand a deal to plead no contest to misdemeanor battery in exchange for one year of probation.

    But Chartrand refused and went to trial on a charge of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child 12 to 15 years of age. He could have faced more than four years in prison. The maximum is 15 years.

    Jurors said afterward that the state didn't make its case.

    "The state did not present enough evidence," juror Kathy Bohn said.

    One of the jurors, who asked not to be named, said Kaufman's theatrical closing did not influence the decision.

    "It had no affect on our decision," he said. "It [the decision] was based solely on the evidence or lack of evidence."


    Chartrand was represented pro bono by his attorney.
     
  12. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    I am trying to picture this jury taking turns with tiggers head and paws on :confused:
     
  13. LovelyPigeon

    LovelyPigeon Former Member

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    If it doesn't fit...
     
  14. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    First those costumes are bulky and awkward by nature, second the mother was there in the photos- saw what happened (had it happen to her) and didn't start screaming immediately? This all took place in front of the stepfather, other visitors, probably other employees, and in front of cameras. I kind of expected this jury decision. And I am glad that he did not take the plea deal. Otherwise he would be serving time for an offense that I just can't believe happened.
     
  15. Ghostwheel

    Ghostwheel Pyrrhonist

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    "Asked whether he was bitter, Chartrand said, "I was brought up to be a gentleman and a scholar the English, old-fashioned way, and so I have no animosity to anybody. I have values that most Americans would probably wish to have." He moved to Central Florida from England last year."

    A little pompous, I would say. Seemes odd this would even make it to court.
     
  16. Rum Tum Tugger

    Rum Tum Tugger Animal AdvoCAT

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    I watched this case unfold on our local news channels with much film footage of the trial and interviews.

    I was so glad to see the jury return the "NOT Guilty" verdict. This case was all about that *mother* of the 13 yr. old seeking $$$ from Disney.

    People would be amazed at the number of "bogus" claims made against Disney in an attempt to make some easy money.

    I am truly sensitive to and an advocate for victims of sexual harassment & abuse of any kind. This just wasn't one of those times. This was "a money thing" from another greedy tourist!

    "Tigger", Michael Chartrand, was back at work at Disney the following day. He has been reimbursed for all of his back pay since his suspension. $4500.00 .. it was reported.

    I'm so glad he refused to take the plea deal out of fear. IMO .. there should be consequences for scammers that file false claims for monetary profit.

    Rum Tum
     
  17. ShowerSinger

    ShowerSinger New Member

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    FOUND INNOCENT!
    The whole courtroom drama looked like the "victims" were after lawsuit money. An attorney even put on the costume, and showed how difficult it was to even move in the thing. The accused was offered a plea deal, but maintained his innocence throughout.
     
  18. nanandjim

    nanandjim Former Member

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    I looked at the photos. To me, it does appear that he has his arms around the teenage girls (close to breasts) whereas he has his arm draped over the shoulders of others, who were not teens. Before I saw the photos, I was definitely in this guy's corner. After viewing the photos, it left me wondering...:confused:
     
  19. Ticamom

    Ticamom Former Member

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    Nanandjim, could you please post a link to the photos ?

    Thank you !
     
  20. Ivy

    Ivy Inactive

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    The photos I have seen taken of him posing for the camera with the so-called victims sure don't look to me as if he was groping them or touching them inappropriately. I've thought for quite a while now that greed was behind this, and that the so-called victims were only after big bucks from Disney. Glad he was found not guilty, but sorry he had to be dragged through the mud in the first place.
     

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