The movie blogger resurfaces, labels the “alleged victim” as mentally ill, promiscuous
Robert Sanchez, the pioneering online movie writer who abandoned his website IESB.net and disappeared after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused his stepdaughter, has purportedly posted a long, rambling denial that smears the teen and accuses her and her father of fabricating the dark and disturbing story.
Detectives, meanwhile, tell TheWrap that they're still looking for him.
Titled "The Truth," Sanchez's blog post appeared Wednesday night, several hours after TheWrap attempted to contact him via Plaxo, a contacts/networking site he had apparently recently joined. (His Facebook page and other profiles had been deleted weeks ago).
Sanchez's post is filled with invective toward named individuals, and contains many troubling, lurid details about his teen stepdaughter's alleged drug use and promiscuous behavior. (Warning: the post, linked here, is full of graphic sexual references and language; it does not identify the alleged victim by name.)
Sanchez suggests in his post that his stepdaughter, now 15, is mentally ill and that the teen's father is responsible in part for fabricating the allegations. He also names individuals in the film industry and movie blogging community, accusing them of spreading falsehoods. (Messages left by TheWrap for these individuals were not immediately returned.)
Late last month, TheWrap reported that detectives in Rancho Cucamonga were seeking Sanchez to ask him about the allegations of sexual abuse. No charges have been filed.
TheWrap was unable to locate Sanchez, and it was not immediately clear if he had retained a lawyer, though Sanchez did say in his post that he had received legal advice. His wife, Stephanie, declined to comment when contacted at her home.
Authorities have been frustrated in their efforts to meet directly with Sanchez, who disappeared afterthe teen brought the allegations to police, Det. Matt Griffiths, the lead investigator on the case for the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department, told TheWrap on Wednesday.
Though Sanchez says in the post that detectives know where he is and have communicated with him, Griffiths told TheWrap that while Sanchez provided investigators with a phone number, so far they have only exchanged voice mails and emails.
“At this point we can’t actually verify anything until we talk to him," Griffiths said.
Griffiths acknowledged that Sanchez's stepdaughter has a troubled past but told TheWrap that the allegations "have some weight." He said that while Sanchez is not "actively evading us," his disappearance immediately after his stepdaughter came forward to police — and his apparent unwillingness to meet them in person — is "making it worse for him."
He said the girl is staying with other family members, but that Sanchez's actual physical whereabouts were still unknown.
In the days before Comic-Con, Sanchez's site, IESB.net (Inland Empire Strikes Back), was shut down and its writers angrily resigned. It sprang back to life on the eve of the massive fanboy event, and its operators told TheWrap that Stephanie Sanchez was in the process of selling the site, one of the first movie fansites to spring up in the late 1990s.
Sanchez did not attend Comic-Con for the first time in years. IESB.net has been a longtime sponsor of one of the festival's hottest parties, "The Wrath of Con." The party was renamed "From Dusk 'Til Con" this year and carried on with different sponsors.
Hunter Walker and Jeff Sneider contributed to this report.
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