Share this article
ontent warning: the following story contains sensitive material regarding physical and verbal abuse.
Ian Rylett, the 55-year-old British co-founder of the mega-popular YouTube empire SevenAwesomeKids, was arrested in Florida in August, BuzzFeed News reported today. All of the company’s channels, however, are still up: SevenAwesomeKids, SevenSuperGirls, SevenPerfectAngels, SevenFabulousTeens, SevenCoolTweens, SevenFuntasticGirls, and SevenTwinklingTweens. It appears that none of the channels have posted a new video in the month since Rylett’s arrest. Together, the channels have more than 17 million subscribers and have amassed billions of views; each features a rotating cast of more than 20 girls, all between eight and 18 years old. Details of the charges, per BuzzFeed:
According to an arrest warrant obtained by BuzzFeed News, detectives were called to Rylett’s Orange County hotel room on the morning of Aug. 16, after Rylett allegedly verbally abused the girl, demanding she undress in front of him against her will and “practice wrapping her breasts down, to make them appear smaller for the video shoot.” According to the report, the girl, who is under 16, claims Rylett touched her breasts and fondled her while repeatedly making her undress, eventually attempting to forcefully remove her underwear. The arrest report also alleges that Rylett “threatened to use the contract to fine her if she did not comply with his demand.” Rylett pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment last month. He has surrendered his passport and will stand trial later this year. Rylett’s lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.
“We take safety on YouTube very seriously,” reads a statement from YouTube in the BuzzFeed report that was reiterated to The Verge via a spokesperson. “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 channels.”