Forty-five year old Iowa resident Terry Lee Repp was arrested on Saturday at Tampa Bay Comic Con for allegedly stalking actress Kate Beckinsale. Repp has apparently been following Beckinsale to conventions across the country for at least the last year. In 2016 he apparently threatened to stab Beckinsale at an event in Salt Lake City, and later showed up at Houston’s Comicpalooza.
Repp has been arrested, and was initially charged with misdemeanor stalking. On Sunday a Florida judge recommended that the charges be upped to a felony, though we don’t know if that’s been formally done. Repp was being held on a $5,000 bond.
Repp was apparently found before he could approach Beckinsale at the convention, as an officer reportedly recognized the man and immediately arrested him. Police told TMZ that Repp has “an irrational obsession with the victim and has traveled across the country in an effort to harass her.”
Beckinsale’s panel on Saturday was delayed so she could file a report, but she did return to the convention.
Author and tabletop game developer Monica Valentinelli was originally scheduled to be a guest of honor at Odyssey Con in Madison, WI later this month, but that is no longer the case. Earlier today, she announced in a blog post that she was no longer appearing at the con due to a “known harasser” being on the event’s staff. She had been under the impression that this person had left the event, but this was apparently not the case:
Yesterday, I found out that I was scheduled to be on programming with him and he was still part of the concom. I also learned that peers and friends were uncomfortable with his role at the show, and they had decided to avoid the convention altogether. His involvement with the con meant that I would have to interact with him, especially as a guest of honor, and I do not feel safe around him nor would I want to put any of my friends, peers, or fans in that situation either.
Earlier this month, we talked about how Evercon quickly and professionally handled harassment by artist Scott Windorski. Windorski, after extended Twitter exchanges with other vendors and our own Trae Dorn, had mostly gone silent on social media about his expulsion. And, as we had previously assumed, he has not filed any lawsuit against Evercon.
Evercon, on the other hand, is more than willing to take the bull by the horns and has filed a Restraining Order against Windorski.
Since one of Evercon’s staff had told us that he was consulting his lawyers when we interviewed him for our previous story, this is only to be expected. Especially after Windorski’s social media meltdown and bizarre Craig’s List accusations (featuring a picture of man who is not an Evercon staff member) which are both still online.
We’ll wait for Feb. 3, when a Marathon County Judge will make a ruling on the matter.
Update (2/3): At a hearing earlier today, a harassment injunction lasting four years was issued against Windorski. Windorski is not allowed near any event run by Evercon or the residences of its management. He is also restricted from making any harassing remarks about Evercon or its management, and this includes on social media.
This last weekend was the 17th Evercon, one of Wisconsin’s most established small gaming conventions. This was a historic year for Evercon — It was its first year not only as a three day con, but also the first year it wasn’t held at the DC Everest Middle School in Wausau. For the most part, the move to Central Wisconsin Convention Center was very successful, save for a bizarre and extended incident.
Artist Scott Windorski, who vends under the name “Knotty Cobbler,” was ostensibly there to sell his wares, but began to make the rounds a few hours into the first day of the con, January 6th. As he did so, Windorski apparently began to interact with the other (mostly women) artists. For some, like Bal Flanagan, Windorski was at their booth to not only push his own wares aggressively, but made unwelcome comments that “made everyone uncomfortable.”
On this episode of Nerd & Tie, it’s all about second seasons. Supergirl‘s been renewed for one, Daredevil‘s has now premiered on Netflix, and Attack on Titan‘s has been delayed. Besides that, we discuss the announced fifth Indiana Jones film, Space City Comic Con lawsuit, and new developments in the Geek Girl Chicago/Ron Ladao incident.
And we’re all adults. We can see the episode number. Let’s move on.
Back in February we wrote an article about a couple of situations, including a summary of an incident from a dozen years ago involving “Geek Girl Chicago” blogger Lauren Faits and photographer Ron “Soulcrash” Ladao. In her original blog post she said that Ladao burst into a room that she and others were changing in, and claimed that Ladao had tried to film her and others in a state of undress.
Ladao disputed her version of events in a Facebook post. Faits went on to revise her post, correcting several mistakes she had made, including forgetting to acknowledge that the room belonged to Ladao. Considering that the events happened in 2003, it seemed unlikely that any additional clarity could be brought to the situation though.
On Saturday, Mark Oshiro detailed the negative experiences he had as a guest at last year’s ConQuesT on Facebook. Oshiro goes into detail about his negative experiences, and goes so far to name names of those responsible.
You should really read the entire post (seriously, go do it), but for me the most important part is what happened after the convention. You see, ConQuesT 46 had a harassment policy in place, so Oshiro reported the incidents to the staff. He went through the proper channels, and do you know what the convention did with this?
Well, if you guessed “Absolutely Nothing” you’d be right.
Writing down harassment policies are all well and good, but they are absolutely meaningless if nothing is done to enforce them. If offenders don’t get at least talked to, what exactly is the point? Without penalties any policy becomes meaningless, and that to me is alarming.
Don’t get me wrong, the actual harassment was alarming too, and the fact that in the second decade of the 21st century we’re still dealing with this kind of awfulness in con culture is worse. — But follow through is how we move towards correcting it, and we sorely need to.
In ConQuesT’s defense, current Convention Chair Keri O’Brien (who was not in charge during last year’s event) has publicly apologized for the incident and says the convention is taking steps to handle things better in the future.
Let’s hope they do.
Update (2/24): After a rather weak-sauce attempt at a public apology from the KaCSFFS Board of Directors, Mark Oshiro has posted an extensive follow up to his original post.
One of the things I’ve been happiest to see over the last half-decade is that the convention scene is finally starting to address the ongoing harassment problems which were traditionally swept under the rug. The community still has a long way to go, but it’s a heck of a lot better than nothing.
I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about a couple of ongoing situations though, and how they illustrate what’s exactly is happening right now — in 2016.
On this bigger than ever episode, Vinnk (of FamicomDojo.tv) is sitting in for Pher. We talk about the current state of Pacific Rim 2, the cancellation of Mythbusters, Donna Noble’s Doctor Who Audio Drama return, K-9 getting his own movie, IfCon Victoria disappearing into the night, the 2015 World Fantasy Convention coming to its senses, and SXSW’s complete and total bungling of its anti-Harassment summit.
SXSW has pretty much been determined to do whatever they can to make a bad situation worse these days. Earlier this week we talked about how SXSW had cancelled anti-harassment panel “Level Up” (and awful Gamergate panel “#Savepoint”) after claiming to have received undisclosed threats. This was, of course, after the participants of Level Up had already been through a pretty awful process to start with.
We thought that organizers had come to their senses when it was reported that “Level Up” was being reinstated, and that organizers were considering an all day summit on harassment. It looked like everything was coming up Millhouse.