By Heather Ratcliffe
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A woman has filed a lawsuit against Chuck E Cheese, claiming the beloved mouse character at a child-theme restaurant put his paws where they didn’t belong.
Jennifer Sorbello, 22, of Arnold, filed the suit Tuesday in St. Louis County Circuit Court, accusing a man dressed in the mascot costume, William Thigpen, of groping her breast.
The suit says it happened Aug. 2, 2008, at the restaurant at 720 South County Center Way.
"He looked at her, reached out, grabbed her breast and moved along," said Mark Potashnick, Sorbello’s attorney. "Her jaw dropped in shock and disgust."
Her stepfather captured in incident in a photo but didn’t know it until after they reviewed the pictures, the lawyer said.
Sorbello accuses Thigpen and the restaurant of assault, battery and discrimination in public accommodation. She’s asking for unspecified compensation, including punitive damages and attorney’s costs.
Potashnick said his client did not know Thigpen.
Thigpen and officials with the restaurant’s parent company, CEC Entertainment of Irving, Texas, could not be reached for comment.
According to the suit, Thigpen was greeting patrons when he touched Sorbello.
"As a direct result of Thigpen’s conduct," the suit reads. "(Sorbello) has been damaged in the form of emotional distress and humiliation."
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