AMBER LOVE 

[UPDATE 8:13PM 31-JULY-2014] According to ABC 10 News, the subject of this case obtain her injuries from a fall not from an assault.

A Harbor Police investigation found that the girl’s injuries “were not the result of a criminal assault, and were likely the result of a fall. Her injuries, and physical evidence at the scene, were consistent with a fall from the distance of approximately six feet.”

Police said investigators reviewed surveillance camera footage, looked at various photos submitted and spoke to community members and Comic-Con attendees in coming to their conclusion.

Polygon Update: According to a copy of the police report obtained by Polygon through an open records request, Kalior and the girl had “a physical altercation,” one witness said. The report then details what lead to Kalior’s arrest.

“While Harbor Police was speaking with that witness, Kalior returned without prompting. Harbor Police spoke to Kalior and he denied any dating relationship with [the girl] but admitted to bringing her to a party at the hotel that night where there were a lot of alcohol beverages. A consensual search of Kalior’s cellphone revealed a break-up text dated 7/15/14 in which he used her nick-name … and he referenced their dating relationship. A short time later, [the girl] woke up in the hospital and confirmed she and Kalior have been in a sexual/dating relationship.”

The charges against Kalior are for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

 

PREVIOUS INVESTIGATION UPDATES

Update 9:30pm 30-July] Kalior has been arrested for sexual contact with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to ABC10 News. Kalior posted bail. If charges are pursued, his court appearance will be Aug 5th

According to Polygon who interviewed Kalior, he claims to be a cosplay photographer friend of the girl and denies having any sexual contact with her. Polygon also states:

About an hour later [after Kalior and the girl parted ways], he said, security found the girl unconscious and bloodied in the hotel’s pool area. He added he was with security when they heard she had been discovered and police were notified. The hotel manager did not return calls seeking comment.

[Update 30 July] Police have arrested 29-year-old Justin Kalior on Sunday morning.

31-JULY-2014 I’m leaving this original part of the post in tact because I can tell you that I’ve continuously seen comments victim blaming and slut shaming this girl when the police stated there was evidence of sexual assault. The reactions of people in the comics and cosplay communities were sometimes disturbing. Most were genuinely concerned but others felt the need to talk about “her skimpy costume” which by comic con cosplay standards was not that revealing. Because it is important to understand how our masses react and how shameful that girl could have been feeling all week had she been conscious and aware of the internet attention, it is a fine example of why many people don’t want to come forward, file complaints or lawsuits, or face public scrutiny under a microscope. In just four days this teen’s character was judged because she was drinking and she was a cosplayer. With that in mind, feel free to read further on to my original explanation bullet points about rape culture.

 

Original Post

I thought twice before sharing this link to a Tumblr account where a female cosplayer’s mother claimed her daughter, a cosplayer who goes by the alias Milly Makara, was found on the side of the road at San Diego Comic Con obviously assaulted. I hesitated because I heard there are sick people out there who like fabricate stories just for attention on the internet – notably to see if they can get the attention from certain celebrities so they’ll make something up like a horrible kidnapping and beg an actor, “PLEASE RT!” This is the world we live in when we either have trust in each other or we feel everyone is telling a Blair Witch lie. As an advocate, I choose to believe the story first which is why I chose to share the link on Facebook and Twitter prior to seeing if I could find out valid information. Milly had been found unconscious and covered in blood and it’s now been verified by not only me but also The Beat.

The story broke in nerd circles and Heidi MacDonald wrote about on The Beat. In MacDonald’s post, she said she personally confirmed the story (something you don’t get from comics filled with too many rumor mills) with the parents of the victim. Their phone number is provided in plain sight on the Tumblr; however, MacDonald said that the family does not want to receive further phone calls and they are asking anyone with information to call the police.

The police department of San Diego is huge. They have nine precincts plus headquarters. The San Diego Convention Center falls in the jurisdiction of the Central Division. I emailed them today and it wasn’t too long before I got a reply. The email wasn’t signed so I have no idea if it came from an officer or a secretary. All it said was that neither name I provided, the ones in the Tumblr post, were in their records. This made me skeptical of the police which is never a good thing. I sent back a response with the link to The Beat’s post. I got another reply that clarified there is a case and it’s being handled by the San Diego Harbor Police.

The Beat made the decision to not identify the victim and family and to remove their contact information from the screen shot they posted of the Tumblr; I have done the same except I did put the victim’s cosplay alias out there since the point is to see if anyone who was San Diego at the time as knowledge of this girl and the assault. Sadly, all her information is already out there anyway and as we’ve seen in other cases from Anita Sarkeesian’s videog game documentaries to Steubenville’s rape case to #YesAllWomen campaigns, the women at the origin of a stories about abuse only end up receiving more abuse, especially online but not exclusively.

RAPE CULTURE (NOT JUST IN COMICS, BUT WE HAVE PROBLEM)

 

As late as this afternoon [29-JULY-2014], people were replying to my previous post about Comic Con’s dress code policy or lack thereof, by missing the point of my post and turning it into an opportunity to say cosplayers who dress in skimpy outfits are asking for trouble. Really. This shit happens every day and cosplayers see these comments every single day. It doesn’t matter if you want to blame the artists for designing scantily clad characters or the publishers and editors that approve that content or the fans who make the effort to promote something they love about comics. It’s not about blaming any of those people. You need to look at the criminals who rape and abuse women, drug them at bars and parties, yell out degrading cat calls, masturbate in front of them in public, or victim-blamers. Those are the people who are responsible as are the judicial forces that do not process rape kits, do not believe women’s stories, do not want to protect victim identities in the press with gag orders, or make plea bargains just in case the perpetrators’ future might be “ruined” as a result of what they did. All of that happens daily.

urrepublic rape image
PHOTO BERIT LEENA RAVEN; POST PROD UNKNOWN.

Take a moment.

Think about this.

Inhale and exhale.

And realize that rape culture is real. Assaulting women is not always punished. Victims face further abuse after coming forward when they try to do the right thing by getting these people off the streets.

This is rape culture.

Every time a person flippantly uses the word “rape” to mean something other than what it does, it is a symptom.

Every time you look at a cosplayer in something skimpy and you think she’s asking for trouble, it is a symptom.

Every time you worry more about the criminal and his future, it is a symptom.

Every time someone in power over the case hides evidence, it is a symptom.

[Edit: wanted to include] Every time a woman of color or transwoman gets no support or no help, it is a symptom.

And you should find that unacceptable.

In case anyone doubts that I contacted the SD PD [Edit: updated to censor personal information]:

sdcc email two

 

16 comments on “Update on the #SDCC cosplayer assault case. Cosplayer injured by fall not assault”

  1. Thank you for reporting this. I was in the kitchen making spaghetti sauce today and I heard the report of a female lying beside the road mention from the background noise, but I didn’t know it was something that happened at ComicCon. You have done a good job since I began following you on G+ in telling about the culture of CosPlay and the just wrongness that some people do. Thank you.

  2. If you intended to completely remove contact information you should consider also editing the image of your conversation with the police department, since it appears to include the name of the victim and her mother’s phone number.

  3. Please keep in mind that rape isn’t only a Male on Female problem. Rape is also a Female on Male, Male on Male, Female on Female, ect ect problem. Violence and rape ARE NOT gender specific.

    Everyone should receive support if they are abused, regardless of gender.

    This reminds me of what happened to a friend of mine a few months ago. He was at a house party and someone slipped him something. He could tell something was off so he went to lie down. This girl that he had constantly rebuffed and directly told her ‘No.’ came into the room and he was physically unable to stop her from doing ‘things’ to him. When he came to the next day he went to try to report what had happened and the Campus Police laughed in his face and told him ‘You’re a man, you can’t be raped, get over it’.

    • I’m not insensitive to the abuse that happens to all genders (Sandusky was the big news last year). It becomes a feminist issue as a blanket because there are people still saying rape is because of what a woman was wearing. I see the comments daily. The “fashion” excuse is tiresome and when it’s discussed in comics/gaming cons you hear it nonstop. She got her ass slapped? Well she WAS dressed as Wonder Woman. I’m sorry for your friend’s experience. The police need to be better educated; campus “police” seem to be the absolute worst. There’s a new bill being introduced (today I believe) but even that has some “don’t get raped” philosophies. Campuses are just toxic.

    • No, violence and rape are not gender specific but women make up the majority of rape victims, then children, and men BY FAR make up the majority of rapists. Please don’t discount that fact, or make it seem like it’s as equal opportunity as your post implies. Men don’t walk around EVERY SINGLE DAY in fear of being raped, or groped, or harassed by strange men when all they are trying to do is go about their daily business. Men aren’t blamed for their rapes because of their wardrobe choices. Men aren’t taught how not to get raped walking home.

  4. Every time someone says any woman is looking for trouble, asking for it or other wise “earns” rape is a symptom. The only women who ask for sex are the ones who while sober clearly and verbally say they want sex.

  5. There is some REALLY gender-biased wording going on in this article.
    Also what is the 1 in 3 on the picture representing? Because the “1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime” thing has been debunked over and over.

    RAINN has made a statement saying that rape culture doesn’t actually exist and that the idea of it actually harms victims way more than it helps. Since RAINN gathers statistics for these situations, I’m going to go ahead and say that they know what they’re talking about.

  6. “RAINN has made a statement saying that rape culture doesn’t actually exist and that the idea of it actually harms victims way more than it helps. Since RAINN gathers statistics for these situations, I’m going to go ahead and say that they know what they’re talking about.”

    – “Zeph”

    McDonald’s tells me “I’m lovin’ it”.

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