Alleged Harassment Of 11-Year-Old At Brony Con Was Handled In The Weirdest Way Possible

tumblr_n4ji628NLy1szt02mo1_500The Bay Area Brony Spectacular Con took place last weekend and a disturbing story has emerged from it. Two separate women detailed the same incident in which they helped an 11-year-old hide from an older man who was following her and trying to get her to go back up to his hotel room with him. Neither of the people who recounted the story told organizers or police. What?

Sac Anime had a table set up to promote their own con. An 11-year-old girl reportedly ran up to the Sac Anime table asking if she could hide. They helped her, but none of the Sac Anime staffers notified anyone at BABSCon. From The Daily Dot:

We met a little girl who was there with her family… We call her Babby because she’s 11 and precious… The next day, she runs up to the booth, terrified, and asks if she can please hide under our table for a few minutes. Turns out a dude had been following her around the con all day, and tried to get her to come up to his hotel room. Alone. She tells us she thought he was okay at first because he was wearing [a My Little Pony] shirt, but she didn’t want to go anywhere with him, and he made her uneasy. At one point, after she’d refused, he grabbed her arm in the elevators and tried to get her to follow him. She ran, and now she wants somewhere to hide.

Okay, this right here seems like enough to alert these people that maybe they should tell someone that there is a man walking around a My Little Pony convention preying on little girls, no? Instead, they hide her in their booth and act as her security. Okay, at least they helped her but it still doesn’t explain doing nothing to protect the other children this man may get an eye on.

Eventually this very large dude strolls by, very obviously looking around, and she quietly points him out to us. At this point I’m ready to set him on fire, but when I ask if she needs me to go report him, she shakes her head. She doesn’t want to get in trouble, or make anyone mad.

We see him a few more times over the course of the day, because he keeps meandering over to our booth and just casually looking around.

So, this little girl told adults that a man they now have their eyes on has tried to get her to come up to his hotel room with him. And they say nothing. I’m at a loss here. Both women who recounted the story insist that they told the parents. One of the staffers commented:

The girls [sic] parents were informed of the situation. Shouldn’t it ultimately be their responsibility? My staff members helped the girl and notified her parents, who were at the con.

Well, yes – it’s great that they informed the parents – but they are the ones who saw and can identify the guy, right? As if this story wasn’t odd enough, several members of the Brony fandom expressed outrage: “Many members of the fandom, including poniesforparents, believed the entire story was fabricated in order to “demonize” bronies.” Why would conference attendees and booth owners themselves want to demonize Bronies?

The conference staff insisted the incident was never brought to their attention and that they certainly would’ve handled it if it had been. They have security in place to deal with the kind of dangers that may exist at a large event that attracts children. I am at a loss for why several staffers of the Anime booth and this girl’s parents didn’t think this incident was disturbing enough to inform anyone. I’m also annoyed that the fandom would accuse it all of being a lie. I don’t think it’s inappropriate at all to imply that there may be some creepy predators at a My Little Pony convention that attracts kids. This whole thing is just disturbing and odd.

(photo: Tumblr)

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    • Kelly

      What the fuck is wrong with these people? They know a predator is stalking around preying on children and they decide it’s the parents’ problem? WTF?

      It would have taken a few minutes to notify the convention staff or just call 911. She wanted to set him on fire but she’s too fucking lazy to call the cops? Pathetic. I hope it bites her in the ass someday when she needs help and nobody “feels like” calling the police.

    • LiteBrite

      “I am at a loss for why several staffers of the Anime booth and this girl’s
      parents didn’t think this incident was disturbing enough to inform
      anyone.”

      You and me both sister.

    • Pumplestilskin

      That’s when it’s their place, as adults, to explain to the little girl that they must go to someone and get him in trouble. That its ok to make a person like that “mad”. SMDH

    • http://nanny-notes.tumblr.com/ Nanny K

      Yeah, until the girl’s parents come out with a statement saying it happened, I’m not too inclined to believe this story. Not that I don’t think bronies are disgusting and creepy, but I can’t believe that this guy wasn’t at least reported to the con staff members. I mean, how shitty do you have to be to not report an attempted kidnapping

      • Sarah

        Why would these two women lie about it..? That doesn’t even make sense.

        Do you care to elaborate on why men being into something “”feminine”" is “disgusting and creepy”?

      • Iwill Findu

        Maybe less to do with “feminine” and more to do with “childish” that makes it “disgusting and creepy”? I mean MLP target group is what 5-10 yr olds (I’m not going to say a gender since I really do think kids should be able to like what ever they want regardless)? I find it a touch odd that my 27 yr old female cousin loves the show, kids shows make my brain feel all melted personally.

      • G.S.

        Hey, adult lady fan here, and the show is actually really intelligent, creative and thought out. Lauren Faust, the executive producer at the start of MLP, actually designed it so that it could be watched by any age group, and that parents could at least hopefully find at least one thing to appreciate about it. My younger, now-adult brother and boy cousin are both fans, and they love it for the three-dimensional characters, good animation, smart plots, and funny humour.

        Also, John DeLancie plays the recurring character Discord. He’s awesome.

      • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

        I heart MLP: FiM pretty much for those reasons you said. And it’s super adorable.

      • Iwill Findu

        I haven’t seen MLP: FiM. I’m sure it’s great. It’s just that I tend to avoid kids shows for the pre-mentioned brain meltness. I’m prone to headaches and I find the voice acting in kids shows will bring them on not sure why, even the talking in adult shows can bring one on (glimore girls was really bad for it). Even kids shows that I liked as a kid will bring on a headache these days. Just trying to come up with a non-offensive reason why people on the outside might find it odd that adults like a cartoon. I use to love cartoons before they started causing the brainmelt headaches.

      • Katherine Handcock

        I will agree that it’s a show very much tailored for all ages – I draw a lot of similarities to the two Avatar series (NOT the movie…we will pretend it does not exist) which is terrific for kids but highly interesting and entertaining to adults as well.

        Yes, there is a vocal crew of guys who have taken MLP to a really uncomfortable place. But there are lots of guys who just enjoy the show. Don’t lump the weirdos in with the many, many people who appreciate it for what it is!

      • Sarah

        Most of the language I see about bronies sounds extremely heteronormative and homophobic – just look at that sad news story about the little boy and his MLP backpack.

        I watched a documentary about bronies and idk, they seem normal enough to me. The show has a huge following, tons of adults seem really into it so it seems kinda xenophobic to call something disgusting and creepy just because you don’t get it. I’ve never seen MLP so I can’t really say what all the hype is about, but who knows! Maybe it’s great.

      • Sri

        Was it the brony documentary on Netflix? I watched that one, and I found it pretty interesting, but I was a little disappointed that they never really addressed some of the strangest aspects of the brony subculture. I mean, it was clearly trying to communicate that men have a place in the mlp fandom, which, yeah, fine, rock on, they totally should be allowed to like whatever shows they like, but they didn’t mention the case of Princesses Molestia, in which Hasbro sued to get graphic mlp porn taken down because it was popping up on kids’ searches, or the backlash after it was taken down. They didn’t address the grown adult men that are upset that mlp isn’t catered to them. I just wish they would have mentioned the problematic stuff, too, even if it was just to say, “but fuck those guys. We don’t like them either.”

      • Kheldarson

        They didn’t sue, they sent a C&D, which is the preliminary step to anything. The author of Molestia took it down at that point, and cited that it was time to end it anyway. Further, most of the backlash came from 4chan bronies, which are, well, 4chaners. And that’s more important to recognize than the fact that they happen to be bronies. Most of the community just shrugged, said, “Oh well” and went about their day.

      • Sarah

        Yes! I liked it a lot. I don’t think it’s strange that they didn’t address the fringe weirdos because that isn’t really the point. I don’t know about this Molestia thing but if it’s true that they were 4chan creeps, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised and I don’t think that should reflect on the fan base as a whole. There are creeps who make porn based on every cartoon and comic.

      • notanonymous

        Just so you know, despite the name, Ask Princess Molestia wasn’t explicit art – it was just sexually-themed (which to many who didn’t follow it, was just as bad). But therein was the heart of the joke: juxtaposing something innocent with something lewd. That was where the humour was derived.

        Yes, it was “saucy”, and yes, it got a little carried away every now and then – but at the end of the day, the whole blog was there for comedic sake.

      • Vinzenz Stemberg

        They only sued because haters wouldn’t shut up about it. They had no choice because it was dominating search results SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE SO MANY LIBERAL IDIOTS COMPLAINED ABOUT IT. It ran for two years prior with no incident and was even liked by Celestia’s voice actress who became a personal friend of the artist. If everyone who bitched about Molly had just up and simply died, guess what? There would be no more trouble with it whatsoever, no more complaints, no more kids finding it. It’s not often you can point to an entire group and say ‘yes, this world WOULD be better off without any of you existing’ but this is definitely one of those times. Anti-bronies are just the nazis of the new age.

        (meanwhile, even actual nazis are becoming taken with the show, and even previous generations as well. Do you have any idea how much personal HATRED you must have to out-hate nazis? Come the frick on that’s ridiculous!)
        http://mynationalistpony.tumblr.com
        http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/01/my-nationalist-pony-an-interview-with-buttercup-dew/
        http://thiscrispykat.deviantart.com

      • Iwill Findu

        I really did think that was the stupid that a little kid got all that crap over a bag. He likes the show he likes the bag let him have it. I was the only kid in my class that liked Sailor Moon back in the day, people gave me crap for my bag I gave them the “bird” I was such a “charming” 10 yr old. My biggest problem was my normal “barbie” cloths didn’t fit my sailor moon dolls.
        Kids tastes change all the time just let them enjoy what they want for as long as they enjoy it.

      • Sri

        I don’t know if it’s that mlp is feminine so much as the very vocal minority that thinks the show should cater to adult men more or the clopping. I’m pretty non-judgemental wrt sex, but something just feels wrong about grown men jerking it to cartoon horses with the personalities of young girls. I know some normal adult men who like mlp, but they really don’t want anything to do with the bronies because of the brony fringe groups.

      • Abby

        I wish it was just the jerking it to underage female ponies (which is questionable in and of itself and also kind of makes me giggle when these are the same guys who wonder why they can’t get girlfriends… which they do, often and loudly). I can’t say how much of a minority it is, but they’re so much grosser than that. There are tons of examples, but the most recent one that made me vomit in my mouth a little involved a little boy who designed a character for a recent episode (the character called Stellar Eclipse) as a Make A Wish Project wish. The character appeared in the episode and the kid’s mom requested that no pornography be drawn of that character (because that happens with pretty much every character on the show, to the point where every month, volunteers go through Google’s Safe Search and flag the many examples of pony porn they find on there that aren’t flagged).

        They didn’t honor this request, of course, and when the mom complained, they still didn’t take it down but instead crowed about the show becoming “too PC” and so on.

        I’m sure there are plenty of decent human beings out there who call themselves bronies, but that vocal minority is what people associate with the fandom, and it’s a pretty gross minority.

      • notanonymous

        Funny thing about that! Turns out the boy whose OC it was doesn’t actually mind and in fact ENCOURAGES people to draw art (yes, even erotic art) of his character. That whole story – much like this BABSCon incident – was fabricated to slander bronies.

        See for yourself: https://derpibooru.org/607720?scope=scpe0aa805ba9347701364116a6d8e89fed770fd7493

      • Vinzenz Stemberg

        Actually they don’t even care about getting girlfriends, since, well, they already have their ponies to keep them company. And if women are all as poisonous and hateful as those on this site, tumblr, and other craven dens of hiveminded hate, I don’t blame them one damn bit for cutting such disrespectful curs from their lives. https://derpibooru.org/587024
        https://derpibooru.org/489754

      • http://nanny-notes.tumblr.com/ Nanny K

        Sorry for the late reply. But yeah, pretty much the reasons people have already stated. I’m a nanny (duh), and my charge is an MLP fan. I really worry about her safety when I’ve already seen very graphic “fan art” done by bronies who are perfectly happy to sexualize characters that are not only targeted to young children, but are literally representatives of young girls. It just screams child molestation/pedophila, thus the “disgusting and creepy”.

        As for why the two women would lie, why else would anyone lie on the Internet? Attention and tumblr fame. I’m not saying their story is entirely untrue, but I just have such a hard time thinking they would be so protective of this little girl while allowing her would be kidnapper to walk around trying to stalk this vulnerable child. And if they didn’t want to be the ones to report this guy, I can’t believe her parents wouldn’t at least say something to the con staff. It just literally blows my mind.

      • Sarah

        I know people lie on the internet, but these women really look like complete assholes here. It seems like they are being honest and didn’t realize how horrible they actually are for not reporting this…otherwise, why share something that reflects so poorly on you? It blows my mind too.

      • darciam

        Because they find men being interested in it “disgusting and creepy” obviously…I don’t know the reason, but there are so many holes, the biggest one being “We didn’t want to tell anyone on the con floor about it but we were pissed it enough to put it on the Internet.”

    • Rachel Sea

      This is so not unusual. I work large events as a side job, and things happen all the time that people don’t report because they don’t want to make waves. Organizers and security only ever hear of a fraction of incidents, and even when they do, people often don’t want to identify the person who tried to assault them.

    • Kay_Sue

      I mean, is it really that far fetched to the fandom that predators might also be drawn to a MLP convention? If I were looking for somewhere that I might find young kids, that would be on the list, I think.

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      Maybe the dude was her dad? The 11 yr old was hiding to avoid getting in trouble?

    • Lackadaisical

      How is it the parents’ sole responsibility to decide if it gets reported? Taking the story at face value that kid is now safe and under the watchful eye of parents but a predatory man is still prowling the place, free to endanger another child. How is that right? Does a crime only matter if the victim is there to look up at you with innocent, scared eyes? Do kids who don’t involve you in their escape not matter?

      I notice that this was a table promoting one con at another con … could there be bad feeling between two rival cons? Perhaps they want people to think the con where this happened in unsafe, and what a coincidence, they come out of this as the heroes (or at least they possibly thought they would).

      I am not saying that the story is a lie, but I am saying that someone who gets involved with something like this and fails to involve any authorities but is happy to spread the story is a little suspect too. If it didn’t happen then they have undermined little girls actually dealing with harassment and trying to get strangers to help by making them seem unreliable and if it did happen then if they turned a blind eye to a predator in a room of children they bear some responsibility for anything he does to another child.

      • Bic

        I probably wouldn’t report it directly (other than to tell security that we’d had some complaints) without her permission. I would assume her parents could take care of it and if they decide not to, I would want to cause her more problems with her parents. Simply because not all parents are great and I’ve no idea what her home life might be like.

      • Lackadaisical

        I get not reporting it to the police or trying to force or pressure the kid. Informing security is doing something about it, in this situation I would be happy with security being aware that complaints have been made and someone needs to keep an eye on him, and I am aware that without a witness other than a lady who heard it from a kid who refuses to answer questions or get involved that the security staff can’t and probably shouldn’t confront or eject him. However someone keeping an eye on him could prevent another incident that could have had worse consequences for the next child. I am not saying harass the man or get him in trouble with the police over what becomes a second hand complaint from someone who doesn’t know either of the people involved but the security should be aware that something like that has happened. Your way of handling it would have satisfied me but the way they have written up their story of the event implies they didn’t do that.

      • Bic

        Ah I get you now, I misunderstood your first paragraph sorry. I though you were suggesting reporting what happened with more details than just someone keeping an eye on him.

      • Lackadaisical

        Sorry, I expressed myself poorly. Had the parents and child been prepared to report it to the police I think that would have been best, but in my opinion it would have still had to have been through the con organisers and their security staff as you can’t just call cops into a place like that while leaving the organisers clueless. However without the little girl everything is here say and I do realise it wouldn’t be possible to do much more than watch him and step in if a similar incident occurs. It is dangerous to ignore what happened and unfair to the organisers and their security to keep them in the dark, especially if you intend to go public with it later. The con organisers were not given the opportunity to deal with the situation as the ladies pretty much brushed it under the carpet but by the ladies making a big deal about it after they are made to look unsafe. They were promoting their own con and I wonder if their is some politicking bad blood / rivalry between these particular cons.

      • LiteBrite

        “I am not saying that the story is a lie, but I am saying that someone
        who gets involved with something like this and fails to involve any
        authorities but is happy to spread the story is a little suspect too.”

        I agree. They weren’t willing to involve the police or even security but they’re happy to spread it around the Internet? Hmmmm….

        I’m not saying it’s a lie either – it’s very believable in fact – but I just find it really odd that they weren’t willing to report it to any sort of authority.

      • brebay

        It’s not. anyone can report is AND SHOULD! and let the authorities figure out whether charges should be filed.

    • Tea

      This is really weird, I’ve been to way sketchier cons that would have been all over this so fast. But, things like this happen at all kinds of cons, and people of any fandom can be shitty and defensive (Those claiming it’s a lie) especially if someone is popular. There’s a big stigma against calling out anyone.

      I’ve been an art vendor and seen a lot of shit in my day. if this kid had come to my booth, I would have been flagging down staff instantly.

      • itpainsme2say

        Sketchy things do happen and I think some people see the community of fans as like their family or neighborhood and the first reaction is disbelief when hear about something like this because those places are seen as safe and home like where you can be you and to have that violated is unthinkable.

    • JJ

      I would have ripped that guys balls off with my bare hands if he legitimate tried to do that. But I’m such a nice bitch that way. Okay so probably wouldn’t but a person can fantasize and wish that would happen instead of a slap on the wrist from the court. Seriously what a creepy thing to happen though.

    • CW

      I got stalked at the mall when I was 15 by a guy who appeared to be in his 30′s. Stupidly I didn’t think to ask any of the store clerks to call mall security, which would’ve been the smart thing to do. I wound up finding my brother (who was actually younger but big for his age) and getting him to tell the guy to leave me alone.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      Unfortunately, this attitude is not uncommon when it comes to harassment at fandom conventions. There is a fairly large percentage of con-goers who are more invested in making sure no one “demonizes” them and their fandom than they are in actually preventing inappropriate/dangerous behaviors. Somehow, these folks never realize that by dismissing the problem, they do more to harm the perceptions of their group as a whole.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love going to fandom conventions as both an attendee and an art vendor. But the dismissive attitude toward harassment cases is there, and efforts to change it have only just recently started gaining traction.

      I admit I’m a little torn on how this situation was handled. While I certainly want this man to be caught and punished, I also know there are many reasons any harassment (or sexual assault, etc.) may choose not to report it. If the victim were a legal adult, I would not hesitate to say that only the victim gets to decide when and whether to report it. However, when it’s a minor, I’m torn. The threat seems greater when the targets are children, but is disregarding the victim’s choice to not report the correct thing to do just because she is a minor?

      • Lackadaisical

        While I agree that forcing the child or parent to come forward and report it isn’t possible surely it is possible to alert security that their have been complaints about his behaviour with children and have someone keep an eye on him? Yes, I realise that it could lead to innocent people being watched by security but I am not talking about an official report involving the police or even someone confronting him or trying to get him removed, just an eye kept on him so that if he harasses another child someone can step in (and then eject him/call cops as they would be a witness to it rather than forcing another little girl to go through official procedures)

      • Kelly

        No, the victim doesn’t get to decide that, even if she was an adult. A man attempting to kidnap people at a convention needs to be reported to the staff, at the very least. If the victim doesn’t want to do it, then someone else definitely should.

        No one is saying this little girl or any other victim should be forced to testify against this man or even talk to the police but he damn well should be tossed out of the convention he’s using to prey on people.

      • Sarah

        Seriously. Who knows how many other kids this guy approached? It’s sickening to think about the possibilities.

      • brebay

        YES!!! That’s why children don’t get to make adult choices, and why there are laws to protect them.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      That is terrifying, if I saw someone like that pursuing a child, I would tell him to back the fuck off, call security and escort the girl to the head office.

      This could have ended so so badly.

      We know that paedophiles often go to kid’s events to prey on them, it’s a safe environment, in the kid’s mind, how can this be covered up?

    • tk88

      Did neither of them think at any point “He’s going to find another little girl that might not be brave enough to run and hide under the table.”? Jesus, people are so stupid it’s painful. I hope they find him.

    • AP

      In my experience in working with the public, people don’t report these things because the predators tend to claim the accusers are slandering them, freak out, and make a scene. Staff has to tread carefully when making these accusations, or they can get sued for slander and disciplined by their supervisors if they don’t handle it exactly right (bad customer service!!!)

      I’m all for reporting crimes when they happen, but I can see why people are leery of going through non-police sources to report stuff.

      • brebay

        You can’t get sued for calling the police and reporting factual information. You don’t have to know for sure something is up, it’s not your job to investigate. Unless you can prove is was malicious and premeditated, you cannot be charged or sued for calling the police. A mistake in fact, made in good faith, is immunity.

    • Коленька

      fuck you brony scum.

      • Vinzenz Stemberg

        thank you but no, I do not defile my esteemed presence with inferior slavic filth, tovarisch.

    • brebay

      Um, what? This may be how you handle this in an ACTUAL cartoon but, uh…no…be a grown-up and call the dang police!

    • Con Security Horse

      The reason many bronies discounted it is that the story seemed to hit ALL of the hot buttons- it seemed designed to elicit anger. Big weird man, wearing a pony shirt, tries to grab a child. It’s CLICHE, and the fact that these people — PEOPLE WHO RUN THEIR OWN CON — wouldn’t report it is bizarre.

      Let that sink in: SACAnime is a convention. They have to deal with the same type of security problems. Why in the hell would they NOT do the common sense thing and find a staffer and say, “Hey, I think you’ve got a problem?” It makes no sense, none at all.

      THAT is why a lot of people were highly skeptical of the version of events in the original post. Could a girl have been afraid? Entirely possible. Could she have come there? Entirely possible. But the rest of the story is too trite and neat- the scary stalker man comes TO THE VERY BOOTH the girl is hiding at. It sounds just like a horror movie.

      And I say all of this as someone in charge of security at a pony convention. The possiblity of predators attending gets me angry, very angry. I spent most of my last con simply walking and watching, because we did have kids in attendance, running around and having fun, and I wanted to KEEP it that way. It’s precisely because of my mindset that I’m skeptical of this story- it’s too neat and dramatic. Real life issues at cons are NEVER that clear, just like real life. I’ve dealt with autists, trolls, drunken people, and jerks, and none of it was wrapped up in a creepy stalker bow like that supposed incident.

    • anion

      Jesus. How hard is it to go to con staff/security and say you saw this man creepily following young girls/looking too interested in them? You don’t have to make this girl tell anyone if she doesn’t want to, but you have a responsibility as a con attendee, as an adult, and as a human fricking bring to say something.

    • Vinzenz Stemberg