Please DO NOT invite sex offenders to conventions!

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#1 xandra on 7 years ago

(Please read second post for latest information)
Hello again everyone.

Last year, I posted this rant thread ([url]http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=306064)[/url].
I am back again for another year of even worse news.
Aki-con invited a registered sex offender to be the guest DJ at this years Aki-Con.

A minor* said she was drugged and sexually assaulted at the convention. There is a petition and more information here: [url]http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-akicon-get-it-shut.fb40?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=393888[/url]
and proof of the man in question [url]http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Arizona/Maricopa-County-AZ/Leslie-B-Shotwell.21125300.html[/url]

Here is the website and screencap showing that he is a guest:
[url]http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/4193/a3zk.png[/url]
[url]http://akicon.org/guests.html[/url]

My main concern with the entire issue is that some people informed Aki-con that the DJ is a convicted sex offender PRIOR to the convention. See here: [url]http://imakecostumesandstuff.tumblr.com/post/68820993911/i-cant-find-the-event-page-but-it-had-the-same[/url]
Yet Aki-Con brushed it under the rug. Isn't it a convention's responsibility to ensure the safety of all attendees? We cannot control what attendees do, but the convention staff can control who they allow to the convention! Especially the fact that the DJ was an invited guest!

When asked about the situation, this is what they said:
[IMG]https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/538x530q90/593/u0y0.png[/IMG]


I realize that we do NOT have all of the facts of what happened that day/night, but there are few facts that stand:
[LIST=1]
[*]Aki-Con DID NOT inform/take responsibility for inviting a sex offender as a guest
[*]DJ Victor Malice IS a legal sex offender ([url]http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Arizona/Maricopa-County-AZ/Leslie-B-Shotwell.21125300.html[/url])
[/LIST]

We may not know if he is a changed man or if the female in question is lying, but the facts remain. This man IS a sex offender and Aki-Con still invited him as a guest, ever after being given prior warning.

*PLEASE help the residents of WA close down this convention by signing the petition. I refused to have such poor leadership run a convention any longer. [url]http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-akicon-get-it-shut.fb40?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=393888[/url]
*If you do not agree with this petition, then do not sign, simple as that.

This convention was created AND managed by two sisters and their friends. This is a for profit convention. We cannot simply "replace" the managers, as the managers are the ones who created it AND run it.

*NEW information added in second post. The young woman was barely 18, but she was drugged with the GHB, or the "date rape drug".

[B]PLEASE NO FLAMING OR WARS ABOUT BEING "RESPONSIBLE".
I WANT TO DISCUSS [U]AKI-CON'S ACTIONS AS A WHOLE[/U], NOT THE TWO INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED. [/B]

#2 xandra on 7 years ago

NEW INFORMATION:

Local authorizes HAVE BEEN contacted! A trial will be held for Victor Malice in February of 2014. It is not clear if he is currently in prison, but information cited that there is NO bail for him.
No status on Aki-con being charged.

[QUOTE]The victim was not under the age of 18. The underage mistake comes from information give that she was performing underage drinking. Which means she was under the legal drinking age.

That does not in any way excuse what happened.

She was taken to the hospital…and they found she had been drugged. GHB (date rape) and cocaine were found in her system as well as the liquor.
[/QUOTE]


[U]From someone who knew Victor Malice personally:[/U]
[url]http://sophisticatedclarity.tumblr.com/post/68771594474/imakecostumesandstuff-findingneptunia-please[/url]
[QUOTE]I want to say that I personally know Malice and had been friends with him in past.

At one point I had even caught his interests and it had left me deeply disturbed. I am not the only made uncomfortable and there are many other people that have admitted to me the bad things he has done to them or had made them feel. Although I had long grown uncomfortable with him, I was constantly assured that it was a huge misunderstanding.

They told me I was just seeing things and he never meant it that way, he has a girlfriend! I let it go, but then I questioned why would he talk to me and make advances like that if he was already dating someone else. There are a lot of people he has hurt and I want everyone to understand that what he has done is unforgivable.

There was no misunderstanding. There is only the facts.
[/QUOTE]

The young woman's video, showing her story:
[URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLYdKebOaDs"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLYdKebOaDs[/URL]

[B][U]
The owners/creators/managers of Aki-con have been found to be linked with a local day-care:[/U][/B]
[url]https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152105911512962&set=a.440950542961.243750.536952961&type=1&theater[/url]

**Aki-Con recently changed to a NON-Profit organization (this was NOT true last year):
[url]https://www.facebook.com/bresslol/posts/10152099645839434[/url]
[QUOTE]So I'm just going to come out and say this: Aki *is* listed as a nonprofit for WA state. If you search the address of two people who are listed as directors, you get a daycare as a result. So, THE PEOPLE WHO LET A CONVICETED FELON WHO HAS A HISTORY OF SEX CRIMES WORK FOR THEIR NONPROFIT RUN AN ESTABLISHMENT WHERE YOUNG CHILDREN ARE TAKEN CARE OF. Let that sink in for a second. I had to get up and walk around the house for a bit when I found this out.[/QUOTE]

Proof showing Aki-Con was FOR PROFIT last year:
[url]http://goddamnitakicon.tumblr.com/post/34771630685/just-curious-but-is-aki-con-being-a-for-profit[/url]
[url]http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/3299/6qav.png[/url]

#3 Randommerade on 7 years ago

This is terrible :( The con needs to pull their act together, seriously...

#4 Mangochutney on 7 years ago

Holy fuck, can they do ANYTHING right?

#5 Randommerade on 7 years ago

[QUOTE=Mangochutney;4794329]Holy fuck, can they do ANYTHING right?[/QUOTE]

I really don't think so. First a terrible Artist Alley's location now this. I hope this at least discourages people from attending the con in the future so they can shut-down. :/

#6 Borgqueenx on 7 years ago

Dont go to private quarters with someone you just met^^
I would not decline the offender because that will stir up things as well, neither will i warn the public, but i would have someone tail him to keep an eye in sight.
But invite him? No....thats indeed quite stopid, because anime con is a place full with cute girls.

#7 Jei-Cos on 7 years ago

Honestly, yes Akicon could have given him a "no, we won't hire you", but did you guys know that's also illegal? It's against the law for any organization to deny work in the state of Washington based on criminal background. Why are you guys trying to take an entire con away from the people that DO attend? After this, he will be put away for a long time being a repeat offender. Meaning he is no longer going to be able to harm a con goer. Instead of banning the con, why not do what we can to Nase sure this doesn't happen again, but where you aren't forcing people to not be allowed THEIR fun?
I understand how horrible what he did was. It's unspeakable, but we shouldn't be forcing others to not have fun just because one person Fucked up

#8 Randommerade on 7 years ago

[QUOTE=JasonTerror;4794344]Honestly, yes Akicon could have given him a "no, we won't hire you", but did you guys know that's also illegal? It's against the law for any organization to deny work in the state of Washington based on criminal background. Why are you guys trying to take an entire con away from the people that DO attend? After this, he will be put away for a long time being a repeat offender. Meaning he is no longer going to be able to harm a con goer. Instead of banning the con, why not do what we can to Nase sure this doesn't happen again, but where you aren't forcing people to not be allowed THEIR fun?
I understand how horrible what he did was. It's unspeakable, but we shouldn't be forcing others to not have fun just because one person Fucked up[/QUOTE]

You do have a good point. By shutting down the con I meant shutting down the person who allowed this to happen. It's completely unacceptable

#9 Kesra on 7 years ago

[QUOTE=JasonTerror;4794344]Honestly, yes Akicon could have given him a "no, we won't hire you", but did you guys know that's also illegal? It's against the law for any organization to deny work in the state of Washington based on criminal background. [/QUOTE]


I think this might be a special case considering children are often present at these conventions and that seems to be what he was previously convicted for. It's no different than not letting a registered sex offender teach children or have any involvement with them at all.

And even if that were the case, maybe they wouldn't be able to say "We can't hire you because you're a sex offender." but they could totally go to someone else and say "I'm going to hire you because you're not a sex offender."

#10 Jei-Cos on 7 years ago

Yes I do think they need better staff. That would have made all the difference, but we can't ruin it for the whole state worth of cosplayer just because one person did something.

Also, I know someone that was accused of the same thing that didn't actually do anything (i was there at the time they were saying, but this state always convicts for rape regardless for some reason) and they have to go through a treatment class thing, and once thru finish that, they are deemed "ok to be in society", so they are literally legally allowed to work near kids. I bring this up because a lot of you don't live up here and don't know this state's law on it. But yea, I mean they totally could have used another reason..I mean even a "sorry we are all full on workers" would have worked.

#11 Swiftstart on 7 years ago

One question I want to ask: Is he the one who allegedly assaulted the underage girl at the con or is that an entirely unrelated incident with another man altogether?

Because If so I have trouble seeing how the mishandling of one situation means that their hiring another man has anything in common outside of he once committed a similar crime. Also he committed his own crime 7 years ago, and spent time for it.

furthermore, its illegal to not hire someone based on their crime record.

and it's not fair to the congoers, especially not those who
a) do not attend the music events
b) were completely unaware of the situation with the girl

granted, the akicon staff could have handled the tumblr girl's question a little better rather than simply blocking her.

#12 xandra on 7 years ago

[QUOTE=JasonTerror;4794344]Honestly, yes Akicon could have given him a "no, we won't hire you", but did you guys know that's also illegal? It's against the law for any organization to deny work in the state of Washington based on criminal background. Why are you guys trying to take an entire con away from the people that DO attend? After this, he will be put away for a long time being a repeat offender. Meaning he is no longer going to be able to harm a con goer. Instead of banning the con, why not do what we can to Nase sure this doesn't happen again, but where you aren't forcing people to not be allowed THEIR fun?
I understand how horrible what he did was. It's unspeakable, but we shouldn't be forcing others to not have fun just because one person Fucked up[/QUOTE]

Look, society's safety should be priority rather than having "fun".
However, if that is not the priority to some people, that's their decision.
In all honesty, one bad apple can ruin any community, but letting that happen is a different story.

We cannot argue over people's feelings. If someone is not upset by this, they can release counter arguments and defend the party in question.
If people agree, then they agree and can sign the petition.

Also, we cannot argue over laws because they can be overturned in court. Even if a law states one thing, plea bargains can be made. Evidence can be forged or withheld and some lawyers are better at getting a verdict than others. I doubt many of us are lawyers or law enforcers, so we can only argue based off of what we know as civilians. On top of that, we do not know if DJ Malice was "hired", so employment laws may or may not apply to this situation.

However, it still comes down to the fact Aki-Con willing invited a sex offender to their convention as a guest.
It is one issue if it is an attendee, another if they are a guest.

Jason, I know that you are upset and you have every right to be, but we all need to look at it from the big picture view:
[U]Aki-con invited a sex offender to be a guest at their convention.[/U]
Aki-Con KNOWS that children go to this convention.

#13 Jei-Cos on 7 years ago

No different person. I don't know the guy from this. But dshs basic idea. The guy I know could get a job at a place that would include working with minors. If this guy went to treatment and passes, then no job in any place in the entire state can deny him based on background. Same guess for this guy. This is the only con I'm able to have an artist alley table at, so this con going away also runs my and my studio partne's business. As well as other I would guess. I understand that having him there makes you all cringe, but if he wasn't known to be one, but WAS, how would you have even known? Anyone anywhere in the world could be one, you don't know, you guys are only this pissed because he was known before as one..

#14 xandra on 7 years ago

Please stay on topic. This is a serious issue and I want the cosplay community to understand this problem. With the movement of "Cosplay is not Consent", this issue is right up that same alley.
Yes, it is illegal to not hire someone due to criminal past, but people can make up excuses to not hire someone based on other discriminations. People do discriminate and can choose not to hire for a multitude of reasons. Just because something is illegal doesn't mean that people follow the rules.
Also, I don't think CJ Malice was hired. Looks like he was invited, thus laws do not apply here.

#15 redsheep on 7 years ago

That just seems like common sense. :/ Way to drop the ball.

I know you can't refuse to hire someone because of their criminal history, but refusing to hire is super different than asking someone to attend. And aren't you on the sex offender registry for life? It seems weird that that could even happen considering how many underage people attend conventions.

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