LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A man at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was arrested and charged with battery after he allegedly groped a female park employee dressed as a Disney character, the arrest affidavit shows.
Brian Sherman, 51, and his wife went up to the woman at a grotto in the park Saturday to pose for a photo, according to an affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. The woman told law enforcement that Sherman was very excited, repeatedly saying that her character “is my favorite.”
As the couple each got on either side of the woman, Sherman put his right arm around her, making her uncomfortable and leaving her unable to move, the affidavit said. He continued to move his arm lower down on her body, the report said, eventually cupping her bra with his hand.
One of the woman’s coworkers picked up on how uncomfortable she seemed and tried to get Sherman to move his hand by suggesting a different pose, the affidavit said. But before moving, the costume shifted and Sherman cupped her breast with two fingers with only “the thin skin-tight fabric” between his hand and her skin, the woman told law enforcement. The incident lasted about three to four seconds, the report said.
According to the affidavit, witnesses told Sherman to move his hand and he eventually put it back around the woman’s shoulders, the report said. He posed for a photo, and a photographer took a picture to identify him later in reporting the incident, the affidavit said.
Once Sherman left, the woman began shaking and crying, the affidavit said. Her coworker immediately closed the area.
“Orange County Sheriff’s Office was on site and immediately stepped in, and this is now a law enforcement matter,” the Walt Disney Co. said in a statement to NBC News. “Everyone should feel safe at work, and we encourage Cast Members to come forward in any uncomfortable situation.”
Law enforcement officials and the incident report did not indicate exactly where the incident allegedly happened or what Disney character the employee was portraying.
Sherman was arrested about five hours after the incident, the arrest affidavit shows, but it’s not clear whether he was still at the park.
Sherman was booked into the Orange County Jail, but records show he is no longer there. The Disney World employee wants to pursue prosecution and will testify in court, according to the affidavit.
Phone calls to Sherman were not immediately returned. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office declined to answer additional questions about the incident.
Sherman is a registered sex offender in the state of Florida, records show. He was found guilty in 1991 of sexual battery against a victim under the age of 12.