'Molester on the loose' in local cosplay community
Tue, Jan 26, 2010

A man within the local cosplay community allegedly molested 13 girls.

This was first revealed in a local forum, SGCafe.

A user known as "Botak_Ahpek" started a thread stating that there is an "alarming rise of female cosplayers being harassed not only verbally, but sexually in real life".

He also said that this "report" was from seven to eight female cosplayers.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, this issue has caused an uproar within the cosplay community, with over 1,300 comments being posted within three days.

From "Botak_Ahpek" postings, it was known that the alleged 'molester' is an active member of the cosplay community.

Also, there were at least 13 victims, mostly minors.

Accounts from victims

One of the victims has stepped out and posted a reply in the forum.

She said that the man wanted her to take pictures of her stomach for him and also asked if she would like to see his private parts. She rejected him on both accounts.

Another victim said that she met the man during a cosplay event and he had asked her to sit on his lap. He then touched her stomach forcibly.

She mentioned that there was nothing much she could do, as she was his 'neko' (Japanese for cat).

She also alleged that the man not only touched people's stomach, but also wanted them to touch his private parts and boasted that many girls have done it.

'Molester' says he is innocent

Lianhe Wanbao approached the alleged molester and he told the Chinese daily that he is 21 years old and works as a part-time lecturer.

When asked about the verbal attacks by netizens, he claimed innocence and said that the whole issue was exaggerated.

He said that he had joined the community not long ago and admitted there were two girls who sat on his lap and he had touched their stomach.

However, he told Lianhe Wanbao: "It was all in the name of fun. I know my limits, I did not molest them.

"They did not resist there and then. If they had, I would have stopped."

He also admitted that he had chatted about sexually explicit topics with "less than 10 females" online, and that for the sake of fun, had also sent a picture of his private parts to the other party.

"I thought everyone's mindset would be very open and she did not mention that she took offence.

"If someone thinks that I've gone overboard, I'll sincerely apologise," said the man.

With regards to having his personal information divulged and posted online, causing him to receive harassment calls, he said: "I don't intend to take any legal action and blow things up.

"I intend to use this Saturday's cosplay event to explain things to everyone. Hopefully all this will be settled."

According to the Chinese evening daily, eight of the victims have made a police report.

Losing oneself

To be obsessed with cosplay might cause certain youths to lose themselves and affect their behaviour adversely.

Counsellor Ying Li Hong said that some youths might be overly obsessed with cosplay. They imagine themselves as the character of the anime or the manga and may emulate these characteristics in their behaviour.

"If the character is unorthodox, it might cause the youth to do the wrong things.

"Also, many of these characters are dressed scantily.

"Girls who are very into cosplay, might dress up more sexily and doing so might give a wrong impression," said counsellor Ying.

This article was translated from Lianhe Wanbao.

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