A 61-year-old farmer from southwestern Minnesota denies an allegation that he groped a Disney World worker dressed as Minnie Mouse at the Orlando theme park this month, leading to his yearlong ban from Disney properties.
“This is wrong to accuse somebody who did nothing,” said the man from Brewster, about 67 miles southwest of Mankato. The man is not being named by the Star Tribune because he was not criminally charged in the incident, which was first reported by the Orlando Sentinel amid other allegations of inappropriate touching of Disney World characters by guests.
“I feel sorry she had it done to her, but you have to make sure you get the right people in these cases,” the man said. His wife said in an interview that she did not see any inappropriate touching by her husband.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the alleged victim, a 36-year-old woman, said the man was part of a group waiting to get his picture taken in a “meet and greet and photograph area” in the Magic Kingdom on Dec. 4. The woman said she had a “normal interaction” with him and his wife and when finished, she gave the man a hug.
“It was at that time that the male guest groped the left side of [the woman’s] chest three times,” the report said. She reported the incident to authorities and identified the man through photos. The woman declined to press charges.
The sheriff’s report said the Brewster man was also banned on Dec. 5 from Disney World in another incident “for an inappropriate interaction with another cast member” but gave no details.
The man said he and his wife are big fans and visit Disney World three times a year. Two days after the Minnie incident, he said, he was waiting in line with his wife to be photographed with Mickey Mouse when two men who work for Disney security asked him to follow them into a building where he was accused of groping the Minnie Mouse character. He said when his wife got mad and “started to say stuff,” security personnel threatened to charge her as an accomplice.
He said he was banned from all Walt Disney World properties for a year, except for the Saratoga Springs resort where the family has a timeshare.
The man said he has sent a letter to Disney World demanding the ban be rescinded. In the meantime, he said, the family has removed Disney mementos from their Brewster home, including a large picture of Mickey Mouse.
“They’re not a keepsake now,” he said.