Aki-Con’s Sexual Assault Case

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Aki-con, held October 25-27, 2013 in Seattle, Washington, had an incident occur over the course of the convention weekend which has resulted in a massive fallout. A minor was sexually assaulted by a guest DJ for the convention, DJ Victor Malice. He has been charged, with a trial date planned sometime in February.

Apparently, the underage female was drinking with the DJ and he chose to take advantage of the situation. The convention was notified of the situation and the police were called out. However, from the sounds of what took place (and please correct me if I’m wrong), DJ Victor Malice wasn’t removed from the property after the incident.

While this is an upsetting situation, the worst was yet to come. Aki-con released a public statement on their Facebook page, after the victim released a public video on Youtube:

“It has come to the public light thru a youtube video that an underage young woman who was a member of the (cosplay group), guests of our convention claims to have be sexual assaulted by another guest in a private hotel room.

Aki con did in fact know of the situation and advised the young woman and man in question to contact the police. Aki con’s guest liaison stayed with the young woman to aid her when the police arrived to take her statement and the other person’s statement. After that this became a police matter, Aki con has no further information nor will Aki con be releasing information to the public as the persons (underage victim and accused) in question are entitled to privacy. Aki con advises all attendees to make good choice, stay with friends and trust loved ones. Aki con has rules against underage drinking and drug use but Aki con can’t control what attendees or guests or even other guests of the venue do in private rooms and remains a neutral party as the incident in question happened in a private hotel room. I would advise all persons not to pass judge on either party as you don’t know the details or circumstance. As for the accused In America everyone is “innocent until it can be proved that you are guilty.” and thus we will leave the rest up to the judicial system. It is upsetting that these things happen in every setting whether at work, school, concerts, churches etc. and that is why Aki con advises all attendees to make good choices and be safe. We live in a wonderful and dangerous world and to think that this doesn’t seep into our little anime world would be foolish. Our thoughts have been with the young woman in question and we hope that both parties get the help they deserve.”

You can see this and the public response here, and in case it’s been removed, you can see a saved screenshot here.

The problem with this response? The vast amount of victim-shaming and lack of responsibility on behalf of the convention. The other problem? The fact that Aki-con was warned by attendees about the DJ’s past convictions as a sex offender. You can see the warning here and his publicized convictions and sentencing found here. The warning post was deleted from the forums and Facebooks posts, which was discussed here. These warnings and the knowledge of his offenses makes the convention liable for anything DJ Victor Malice has potentially done, and the fact they turned around and VICTIM-SHAMED A MINOR on top of it all is absolutely inexcusable.

Conventions need to be smart about protecting their convention attendees and themselves. This has been nothing but a disaster for every party involved. Aki-con should have heeded the warnings from attendees and not invited the DJ to be a guest, thusly having him representing the convention as a form of liaison, thus also becoming a liability. Whoever is in charge of their public relations has failed at doing a proper public post about the situation, originally giving hints out as to the victim’s identity, and the overall victim-shaming is unacceptable. While yes, the incident took place in a hotel room, it is the convention’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for everyone, and they screwed that up by inviting a potential threat into it. END OF STORY.

I hope other conventions learn from Aki-con’s mistake, and that the young victim gets justice for the trauma that has taken place. This was a public relations nightmare, with a ton of bad examples on all fronts to learn from. Honestly, I do not see Aki-con surviving this without taking more fallout than has already been received.

Yunie

A cosplayer for over a decade now, Yunie is a giant nerd who still pretends she’s cool. She runs several sites on her own, including Engi no Shouzoku! Cosplay, Cosplay Blog with a Brain, and her store, Yunie’s Designs. An avid fan of fellow nerds, Yunie loves attending conventions and dorking around in costumes with all types. Oh, and if there’s shenanigans, even better!

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20 comments

  1. Mr. Mort says:

    All parties involved in this fiasco are guilty and responsible for the fallout. The convention is guilty for inviting someone in with a history of sexually-related crimes. The DJ is guilty of for lack of better terms…being an idiot. But the ‘victim’ is no innocent either. Drinking underage is already illegal. Also, if she was drinking and knowingly getting intoxicated, it can’t be said with 100% certainty that she wasn’t inviting the attention, etc.

    I’m sorry I don’t believe in that ‘no-responsibility’ BS. As a human being, if you know right from wrong, then you’re responsible for your own actions as well.

    • Yunie says:

      I agree with you that all parties involved acted stupid. Plain and simple.

      However, drinking with someone doesn’t excuse non-consensual sex. Especially when hospital labs revealed she had been “roofied”.

    • henry christophe says:

      Guess what, if an underage girl asks me for a beer, and I give it to her, I am the guilty party. Good luck telling that to the police when they come to cuff you. What the hell was he doing in a hotel room with an underage girl? When I go to a con, I don’t make it an habit to bring teenage girls in my room, it’s wrong. If that girl isn’t your daughter, sister, or niece, she doesn’t have any business to be in your room in the first place. Apparently roofies were used and I doubt very strongly that the young lady took those of her own free will. Roofies are rapist favorite drug, because it suppress the will of the victim, and best of all the victim doesn’t remember a thing in the morning, finally the DJ in question has already been convicted of a sexual crime. Usually you don’t invite a sexual offender to host a party full of underage teenage girls, not smart, not smart at all. It was a mistake from the convention folk and they need to take responsibility for it!

      Edited for proper grammar and punctuation. -DJ

  2. truth says:

    leslie shotwell is not a registered sex check on
    http://www.nsopw.gov/en-US/Search/Results
    not sure what was victim shaming

  3. Han Solo says:

    You need to be more careful how you word articles like this.
    you should always add “allegedly” before stating what he is accused of. otherwise he can sue you for slander and libel, since your article is saying *that* he raped her, when he hasn’t yet been convicted of anything.

    • DJ Ranma S DJ Ranma S says:

      There is no need for that because this has become a police matter and he’s been charged of it. The evidence is right there.

      • Han Solo says:

        charged. not convicted. In the US, suspects are to be considered innocent until proven guilty. therefore, saying that he did the things he is accused of, rather than he “allegedly” did them is considered libel.
        It’s very dangerous to try a case in the court of public opinion, before it has actually gone to trial. That’s how we got the Zimmerman fiasco.

        • DJ Ranma S DJ Ranma S says:

          You sound like as you are defending him… Are you?

          • Han Solo says:

            No. I havent seen any of the evidence, and am not on that jury, so i have no right to decide his guilt. or even have an opinion on it.
            I’m simply stating the fact that a news article (even one on a site like this) has to stick to facts to avoid a libel suit, and it is not a “fact” that he raped the girl. it is an allegation. reporting it as a fact rather than an allegation can get the site in serious trouble.
            the only thing im defending is the American legal system. Just because you disagree with me, dont immediately assume that i’m defending an alleged rapist. That kind of black and white thinking is rather childish.

          • DJ Ranma S DJ Ranma S says:

            How can you sit there and think with that kind of logic? It’s sickens me. As for libel, I’m not worried because this is all facts here. What happened is a black and white situation, NOT shades of gray.

        • kaiser11492 says:

          What does a German telegram to Mexico during WWI have anything to do with this?

          • Toni says:

            He was convicted of a sexual assault of a minor in Arizona and served 4 years of it. That was the case I was referring to when I used the term “convicted” not the one going on now.

    • Yunie says:

      I appreciate your concern, and until he is convicted, you are correct in the fact it would be allegedly.

      However, with the fact he’s buried his head in the sand prior to being taken in to custody… I am not too worried about being hit with slander.

  4. Patrice says:

    A friend post this convo on fb, and some idiot had the nerve to say it was indeed the young girl’s fault because she drank. I had to point out that 2 wrongs don’t make a right, and neither do they cancel either out. He gave both drugs and alcohol to an underage girl, end of discussion. She has to live with the backlash for the rest of her life. What if he gave her AIDS or any other STD? What if he got her pregnant? This was just an all around bad situation that could have been avoided by the con, had they heeded the warning of the posting people and not deleted them.

    Edited for grammar and spelling. -DJ Ranma S

  5. millktea says:

    This is way too biased. Being charged and being guilty are two separate things. To speak that the accused is already guilty is very unacceptable. If someone wants to depend the accused, it is the same as defending the potential victim. Food for thought, what if the accused is the actual victim here? A convention can only be responsible for the environment that is present, it cannot control or manipulate people’s actions. If it is true that the girl is underage and that she was in fact drinking, why is this accused being reprimanded while the “victim” is deemed completely innocent? The fact that this possibly happened means that she put herself into a situation irresponsibly. Underage persons are not to drink. If someone is going to get mad at one “sin”, get upset at them all. Look out for yourself and don’t put yourself into ill situations.

    • Yunie says:

      While yes, she made poor choices, so did the convention for allowing a sex offender through their doors. They control the environment, then why allow that person inside? Plain and simple.

      • Toni says:

        Also underage drinking is a much lesser sin than rape or even allowing a sex offender into a con. The organizers are friends with DJ Malice knowing of his prior conviction of child rape. Did you know prisoners think low of child molesters? What does it say about the organizers when convicted criminals have more common sense than they do?

  6. Michelle Zhang says:

    At no point is a victim in any way responsible for being sexually assaulted. A girl should be able to choose to walk around completely naked and completed drunk without as much as a touch from anyone else except to help her. So yes, in terms of getting sexually assaulted she was completely innocent.

  7. Arthur Grier says:

    I have to agree. Aki Con handled the situation horribly. Sure, the girl should not have been drinking, but I doubt she asked for the roofie. It was poor decision making, however, rape isn’t a lesson that follows poor choices. It’s a CRIME. A crime that could have prevented by keep a convicted sex offender away from an event comprised of mostly underage people. And the fact that Aki Con isn’t owning up to that shows how much they care about the people that actually PAY to come to their events.