|Photo: Fluttershy cosplayer in front of the SacAnime fan table.|
BABSCon’s Official Statement Regarding the Incident Reported by SacAnime Staffers
Recently, we at BABSCon have heard disturbing accounts of an incident involving a young girl at our convention. After the convention ended, it was reported via the tumblr of a fan table staffer for SacAnime that an 11-year-old girl approached the table in distress. According to the account, she said was trying to hide from an individual who was following her and asking to take her to his room. To clarify, BABSCon staff was not alerted to this situation as it was happening, and we were only told about the incident after the con. Nevertheless, we take this matter very seriously, and are investigating it to the best of our ability. There are elements of the story that remain unclear, but we are vigorously striving to determine the truth.
We are attempting to reach out to the parents of the child, and were recently contacted by parties claiming to be her parents. They contend that the incident was exaggerated by the SacAnime fan table staffers’ descriptions as published on Tumblr, but we are attempting to verify these claims. We have also been collecting statements from SacAnime staff who witnessed the event.
Unfortunately, at this point, no one with the necessary legal standing— such as the girl’s parents or the SacAnime staffers— is willing to press charges. Consequently, we have no means by which to initiate police action or acquire a subpoena to compel the venue to release their security footage.
If you have any information at all about this incident, such as the identity or a description of the perpetrator, please email us at email@example.com. We are very eager to hear from you and anonymous tips are welcome.
BABSCon understands that the opinions and actions of the volunteers representing SacAnime during BABSCon were those of the specific individuals in question, and not that of SacAnime as an organization. Because the issue has been raised elsewhere, we want to make clear our position on any further connection between SacAnime and BABSCon. We strongly believe that the individual SacAnime representatives’ failure to report the incident was irresponsible and could have lead to further endangerment of the child. We also firmly reject SacAnime Director Dan Houck’s stance, quoted from an email to us:
“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.”
The correct thing to do would have been to notify any of the numerous nearby BABSCon staff, the representatives of FLARE in attendance, or the Hotel’s Security or Staff. As we have stated before, both our Registration table and Info Desk were mere feet away from the fan table. SacAnime staff, who had eyes on the stalker in question, could have given us a description of the individual, which could have have helped us eject him from the con and remand him into police custody. Since they did not, BABSCon will require a mandatory training session for all those who wish to have fan tables in the future with BABSCon. This will ensure that in the future, such incidents are reported properly and promptly.
BABSCon has never said that any SacAnime staff are banned from attending our convention— and they are not— though we would have strong reservations about giving SacAnime another fan table. Their failure to report a potential crime in progress, and their Director’s statement that his team acted appropriately, give us pause to say the least. While we are grateful that they took action in protecting this child and have stated that they tried to have a staff member follow her wherever she went, this simply wasn’t enough. This incident should have been brought to the attention of BABSCon staff, who would in turn have notified the authorities.
If SacAnime is willing to participate in our training session for vendors and fan table staffers, we might reconsider offering them a fan table in the future. But if not, we have no place for anyone who will not report crimes they witness, or help ensure that those who would do our children harm are handled by the appropriate authorities.
We apologize for any confusion.
BABSCon strives to provide a happy and safe environment for convention-goers of all ages. Rest assured that, should we find the perpetrator, he will be promptly reported to the police and banned from all of our future events. The sort of behavior that has been reported is illegal, immoral, dangerous, and runs contrary to the spirit of our community. We ask for your assistance in tracking down this individual, and hope to see you next year in San Francisco!
In service to the Community,
Sonya Hipper - Con Chair, BABSCon 2014
Olivia Daniels - Con Vice Chair, BABSCon 2014
WeAreBorg - Head of Public Relations, BABSCon 2014
A Communiqué From Her Mother
We received the following email at firstname.lastname@example.org from the young girl’s mother. Our first feeling was a massive sense of relief that it appears no lingering damage was done, and that a serious talk about stranger danger was had. But, we’d still like to know who the creeper was so we can make sure he never attends another BABSCon.
Let us reiterate, there is ZERO tolerance for this man’s behavior at BABSCon!
We’ve removed all names to protect this family’s privacy.
Re: Incident at babsconsfHi, I am [REDACTED]’s mom. To be clear, I was never informed about any kind of incident involving my daughter while at babsconsf. When we arrived at the con. I told my daughter to be aware that there were lots of strangers and to stay with my almost 16 yo grandson when not with my adult daughter or myself. My adult daughter and myself have some physical disabilities so it was a challenge to keep up with the kids.I was in the lobby while the kids were checking out the different rooms and such. This was the first time any of us attended something like this. On Saturday, [REDACTED] and I stopped by the sacanime table to get her button made I had spoken to the vendors for a while and the lobby wasn’t busy at the time so I left her there while I went to find my grandson. When I came back to collect her and pay for the button, she and the vendors were fast friends. They were nice young people and my daughter wanted to hang out and talk about anime.I don’t usually give her so much freedom, but I felt like she was fine with my grandson nearby, the Sacanime group in the lobby, and with me checking up with her every hour or so. Some time on Sunday she was in the arcade by herself when she was approached by a man who asked her if she would go to his room with him and help him pack. She had seen him in the vendors rooms and he had made her uncomfortable, she told him no and he just walked away. She was scared then and went to the Sacanime table and asked them to let her hang out with them, she didn’t want to tell me because I wouldn’t let her out on her own any more.I was at the table several times that day and no one said anything to me about all this. I definitely would have contacted security and tried to find this guy. My daughter exaggerated about the elevator, he never put a hand on her, and she was never alone with him. She was on a very crowded elevator with him at the front and her way in the back.We have had a serious discussion about all this and the importance of not exaggerating, and not hiding this kind of thing from mom or security.We loved our time at babsconsf, and the safety we felt is probably why I let my gaurd down. We all learned a lesson. Sorry the original poster went on an anti brony rant, it was not deserved. With the hundreds of people in attendance this was a slight incident.My best to you and yours[REDACTED]