Once again, 'tis the season for Christmas-assault cases. Most of these stories involve simple assault and battery upon (on sometimes by) Santa Claus, but this is the first such story I've come across in which someone touched his Kringle.
A woman in Danbury, Connecticut, has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and breach of the peace after Claus told police she had "touched him inappropriately" while sitting on his lap. The report did not say much about the suspect but did say that she was quickly caught and easily identified because she was on crutches. Police said that Claus, whose age was given as 65, was "shocked and embarrassed by the whole incident," especially because children were waiting to see him at the time. The woman was arrested and has a post-Christmas court date.
Confusingly, the report quoted another "Claus," who is apparently not related to the victim but who runs a business called RealSantas.com (a.k.a. "The Kringle Group, LLC"), which pays hundreds of people, who clearly are not in fact real Santas, to publicly impersonate him. This Claus, "Santa Tim" Claus, said he had never heard of such an incident although he said it was not at all unusual for adult women to get on Santa's lap. "I've had some very nice ladies sit on my lap," said the purported Claus, which could mean different things depending on how he said it. "Once in a while they'll say 'I hope Mrs. Claus isn't going to be upset,'" Claus continued. "You have to be discreet and kind and say, 'Oh, no, she'll be okay. You can sit here, but only for one photo!'" Photos beyond the first must be taken in Santa's Winter Chalet! The mall closes at 9! Ho, ho, ho!
Disclaimer: to my knowledge no one affiliated with RealSantas.com has ever actually cheated on his Mrs. Claus. The Kringle Group, L.L.C., notes that all of its Santas must pass a background check by a third-party agency, and are required to have an entertainers' liability insurance policy. In this way, one can be sure that one's children are "safe in the hands of Santa."
How the lap of Santa will be kept safe is still an open question.