Former partners of Carpenter and established, popular YouTubers Rosianna Halse Rojas and Sarah Sterling have made statements saying that the now 31 year old “Wrock” musician, who occupied a prominent place in the online Harry Potter fan community and at the “LeakyCon” convention, used his influence to manipulate them into sexual conversations and situations starting when they were both 16 years old and he was 25:
"Early on he would say things to me like, “why do you have to be 16?” and “you’re so cute, I wish you were older”, but those clear red flags in his mind were not enough to stop him from pursuing me, and, me being 16, did not have the capacity to understand how dangerous the situation really was"
"I’m 17 and he’s giving me things to drink and wild old me accepts them, throws them down in one. At that time, let me state, I was a mess. I was so sick, in a lot of ways, and I spent half the convention crying. I watch him shout at his most regular girl, shout at her for spraining her ankle and not wanting to host a party […]somehow I end up in a stairwell, kissing him, and somehow I wake up the next day next to him, only to get up for the bathroom, get back and find him kissing the girl who was in bed next to me"
"I have let him sleep in my bed. All the while knowing that I’m not the only one, whatever the fuck he claims, all the while knowing that he is exploiting my insecurity, exploiting the power dynamic as he has done since I was 16, all the while knowing that he is a cheating liar, who explicitly messages girls in high school even though his in his thirties now, who thinks he can get away with it"
This is just the latest in a series of allegations started when Tom Milsom’s former girlfriend Olga alleged that he raped and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions. Alex Day has since also been accused of sexual assault and using his status to manipulate underage girls into bed, like Carpenter, prominent YouTubers made statements about him.
Carpenter, like Milsom, has made no response to these allegations and his online accounts have remained inactive since they [the allegations] were made.
A lot of the alleged misconduct centres around un-named conventions in the United States attended by YouTubers.
In a community where most of the interaction takes place online, conventions are one of the few times that large numbers of people involved in the community will be present in one place, thus, it is perhaps unsurprising that when physical abuse happens, conventions are involved.
However, well knowing about the general rape and sexual assault problem present in western society and around the world, and about the power dynamics between older men and teenage girls even without those men holding positions of influence and admiration, a question has to be asked.
At conventions like LeakyCon, PlaylistLive and VidCon (where Tom Milsom first met Olga) as well as generally within the community, was enough effort made to protect the vulnerable, underage fans from those who had influence over them and make them aware of the dangers?
Perhaps it’s easy to ask that with the benefit of hindsight, and there is truth in that, but it must still be asked.
LeakyCon states on it’s official website that:
"Attendees under the age of 18 attending LeakyCon without a registered parent or legal guardian must bring a signed and notarized permission form when they check in"
Past LeakyCon attendee Colin has made a post talking about safety there, saying that he has “unshakable faith” in staff members and attests to staff members going above and beyond to help him
"After three weeks of international travel, I was pretty physically sick/homesick by the time I got to LeakyCon London and had three LeakyCon Managers volunteer to be my “Leaky Moms” (god bless you Lawson, Jenn and Candace).
Other staff members at previous conferences have swooped in to save me from situations where I was clearly uncomfortable—even when my big mouth got me in those situations in the first place”
But he also raises concerns:
"However I’ve also seen aspects where things have become maybe a little too lax. For example, the chaperone policy that was once very strict has become more and more “hands-off” in recent years"
The VidCon website policy states that:
"There is no age limit to attend VidCon. If you are under 18 and your parents are okay with you going, then so are we! If you’re under age 13, then we require that you have an adult with you. Ages 8 and younger even get in for free."