The co-founder of a popular YouTube channel was arrested in Florida last month for allegedly molesting a minor girl who worked for his network.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the victim, who is younger than 16, signed a contract to become a member of SevenSuperGirls, a YouTube channel boasting more than 9 million subscribers. Days later, on August 16, the victim reportedly met Ian Rylett, 55, in an Orange County hotel room where he coerced the girl to take her shirt off so he could show her how to bind her breasts down so they appear smaller in videos.
The document stated that Rylett then told her to remove her bra or “he would force it off of her.” The victim followed the command, leading Rylett to grope and touch her breasts as he wrapped them. Rylett repeated this process two to three times—meaning the victim stood in front of him bare-chested in front of him after each unwrapping, it alleged.
Rylett is also accused of forcing the girl’s underwear off and making her try on three different types of bikinis in his presence. The 55-year-old allegedly threatened to fine the girl if she refused.
Rylett was reportedly charged with lewd or lascivious battery of a minor less than 16. He bailed himself out on September 14 and was ordered to relinquish his passport, as he’s from Britain.
BuzzFeed notes that SevenAwesomeKids, SevenSuperGirls’ flagship channel, has been inactive since it’s co-founder’s arrest. YouTube reportedly learned of his arrest in mid-August—there’s reportedly no indication that the platform contacted the girls and young women appearing on the respective channels.
The video streaming company provided the outlet with the following statement:
“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.”
[Featured image: Ian Rylett/Orange County Sheriff’s Office]