The owner of YouTube’s popular teen channel SevenAwesomeKids was arrested in August for the “lewd and lascivious molestation” of a young girl who creates videos for him, yet his channel is still active.
According to an arrest warrant obtained by BuzzFeed News, Ian Rylett, 55, allegedly berated the young girl and demanded she undress in front of him. The report also details how Rylett touched her breasts and tried to remove her underwear. Rylett pleaded not guilty to the charges, and YouTube claims to have demonetized his channel. However, the channel itself still remains active–even though its Instagram account has been deleted–which calls into question how YouTube is choosing to police its more problematic and high-profile creators.
SevenAwesomeKids was started in 2008 by seven families in the U.K. who wanted to create family-friendly content. The channel has since amassed more than 17 million subscribers across its seven channels, with Rylett as the remaining parent in charge of operations. YouTube has acknowledged the accusations against Rylett and has threatened the termination of the channel when the investigation is complete.
However, YouTube doesn’t have the best track record of following through with its threats. While nowhere near as serious as Rylett’s allegations, creators like Logan Paul and Pewdiepie have been put in YouTube’s demonetization penalty box, only to be set free shortly after for exploitative content and hate speech, respectively.