Ian Rylett, the 55-year-old man behind popular YouTube network SevenAwesomeKids, was arrested last month in Orange County, Florida and has been charged with “lewd or lascivious battery of a minor less than 16,” Buzzfeed reports.
According to the police report obtained by BuzzFeed, on Aug. 16 police were called to Rylett’s hotel room in Orange County, Florida after one of the young women who makes videos for SevenAwesomeKids accused him of sexual assault. The girl, who is under 16, said that Rylet “touched her breasts and fondled her while repeatedly making her undress, eventually attempting to forcefully remove her underwear.” She said also that Rylett threatened to fine her if she didn’t give in to his demands, Buzzfeed reports.
Rylett pleaded not guilty to the charges last month and will stand trial later this year, according to Buzzfeed. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request to see the arrest report on Monday afternoon.
SevenAwesomeKids, a network featuring more than a dozen girls 18 and younger in its videos, has acquired more than 17 million subscribers across its seven channels in its 10 years on YouTube. The network has not been updated with new videos since Rylett’s arrest.
YouTube did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on if Rylett’s network will be pulled from its site. But YouTube told Buzzfeed that it demonetized the network after Rylett’s arrest.
“We take safety on YouTube very seriously. We work closely with leading child safety organizations and others in our industry to protect young people,” YouTube said in a statement provided to Buzzfeed. “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.”
YouTube has banned networks in the past for violating its community guidelines — with last month’s dismissal of digital conspiracy theorist Alex Jones perhaps being the most conspicuous example.