Founder of Tween YouTube Channel Arrested for Molesting Underage Girl
The founder of tween-focused YouTube network SevenAwesomeKids has been arrested for allegedly molesting a minor. According to Buzzfeed News, Ian Rylett was taken in by police for “lewd and lascivious molestation” of an underage girl who was a part of the channel, which explains why there have been no videos posted in over a month.
According to the warrant, which was obtained by BFN, authorities were called to the 55-year-old man’s hotel room on the morning of August 16 after he allegedly verbally abused the girl, who is under 16 years old, and demanded that she take her clothes off in front of him and “practice wrapping her breasts down, to make them appear smaller for the video shoot.”
The victim claims that the man touched her breasts and fondled her while making her undress multiple times and eventually used force to try to remove her underwear. The United Kingdom resident allegedly “threatened to use the contract to fine her if she did not comply with his demand.”
Rylett was arraigned last month and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is expected to go to trial later this year.
The alleged perpetrator co-founded the SevenAwesomeKids brand back in 2008. The network now boasts more than 17 million subscribers over seven channels, including SevenPerfectAngels, SevenFabulousTeens, SevenTwinklingTweens and SevenSuperGirls, and features a rotating schedule of 20 young girls from age 8 to 18 who post videos daily. Rylett directs all these vids and pays the youngsters a monthly salary in return.
According to a 2017 New York Times profile, Rylett’s full-time job is producing the channels.
“Mr. Rylett receives an income from the channels, as do some of the girls. The girls own their own content, he said, but they have not signed contracts,” the profile states.
A former SAKS performer told BFN that there was a “constant pressure to make [herself] look younger” while she was a part of the channel.
Another added, “On trips we used to joke about him being creepy, but we never thought he’d act on it.”
To make this story even more horrifying, YouTube allegedly found out about the man’s arrest last month but will reportedly not take down his channels.
“We take safety on YouTube very seriously. We work closely with leading child safety organizations and others in our industry to protect young people. When we’re made aware of serious allegations of this nature we take action, which may include suspending monetization, or, upon conclusion of an investigation, terminating the channel,” a YouTube spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement.