A Georgia man was arrested for battery after he was accused of randomly groping a Magic Kingdom Cast Member.
Georgia Man Gropes Cast Member
The 21-year-old Cast Member reported a stranger walking alongside her and then reaching into her button up shirt and intentionally grabbing her upper chest, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s arrest affidavit, which doesn’t detail in what part of the park the incident occurred on April 26. The sheriff’s office took weeks to release the public document following a public records request.
The Cast Member told authorities the man tried to touch her breast, but her shirt was buttoned up too tight.
The man “did not say anything to her during the incident, but made eye contact with her and did not apologize for his actions before he walked away,” the report said.
The Cast Member immediately reported the incident to her supervisor.
Joria West Jr., 56, of Leesburg, Georgia, was arrested and taken to the Orange County Jail. He has pleaded not guilty to battery, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to Orange Circuit Court records.
“My client denies any wrongdoing and involvement in this matter. That day was meant for him to celebrate his recent engagement to his fiancé, who was with him at all times. We plan to address and fight these allegations in court,” West’s attorney Kendell Ali said in a statement.
Two guests who were standing in line for a ride saw part of the incident unfold up ahead.
One of the guests said she saw the man “suddenly raise his right arm and appear to touch (the Cast Member) in the chest” but added it was hard to see exactly what happened because they faced away from the guests.
Both guests said they saw the Cast Member take a step backward with a shocked look on her face after the interaction with the man. They also said the encounter appeared intentional and noticed the man looking back at the Cast Member when he walked away.
The guests also reported the incident to Disney Security and gave a description of the man who was tracked down and identified as West, according to the arrest report.
The Cast Member wanted to prosecute him and is willing to testify against him, the arrest report said.
West, who was read his Miranda rights, declined to speak to the sheriff’s office without an attorney present, the report said.
“Based on the information provided by (the Cast Member) and two independent witnesses to the event,” the sheriff’s deputy wrote in the arrest affidavit, “I was able to determine Joria committed the offense of battery when he actually and intentionally placed his hand into (the Cast Member’s) button up shirt and squeezed her upper chest area against her will.”
Cast Members are routinely subjected to visitors’ inappropriate behavior. In May, WDWNT reported on a drunk guest who slapped a female Disney Security guard’s rear end, which eventually led to his arrest.