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CEO of Metrocon arrested for allegations from jailbait

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I don't really know where to begin with this bit of news, so I'll just start by saying that Roy Harms, CEO of Florida's Metrocon, was arrested last week for violating Florida Statute 794.05, "Carnal Intercourse with Unmarried."  In legalese, he slept with a minor.  In this particular case, the girl was 16-17 and Roy, who is currently 37, is well over the allowed age of 23 in the State of Florida for such actions.

What makes the case even more odd is that the arrest took place just 8 days before the convention, which happens to be this very weekend.  In response, Mr. Harms has resigned as CEO of Metrocon and his duties will fall upon the two remaining core staff members. The convention will go as scheduled, just without Mr. Metrocon in attendance.  The story gets even stranger thanks to the official response from Metrocon.  You can find that along with my personal take on the situation after the jump.

Hi everyone, your friendly neighborhood Director of Operations here. For those of you who remember, the last time I posted a letter addressed to the general public, it was in response to the debacle that was the Flugtag being scheduled on the same weekend as METROCON 2008. That being said, you would be led to assume that I only post these in times of need. You would assume correctly.

As many of you have heard in the last 36 hours, Roy Harms, our CEO and Mr. Metrocon himself, was arrested. The allegation against him is, as shown by public record, "Carnal Intercourse With Unmarried", under Florida Statute 794.05.

You may ask yourself why I would personally publicize this information further than it has already spread. My thoughts on that are better that you hear it from me, and not 4Chan, or a blog, or any of the other places people attempt to ruin other peoples' images on the internet.

The official statement from METROCON is as such: Roy Harms is our CEO, and a very close friend of mine. I trust him with my life, my dreams, and my 4-year-old child, and so would anyone else that has ever met the man. That being said, when forming your opinions on the situation, I want to make very clear one thing:

An arrest does NOT mean a conviction to or admittance of the crime being charged. In this particular situation there is one thing required for an arrest to be made, and that is a claim. His arrest does not mean he violated a statute, it means he is being accused of violating a statute. Perhaps we can take some insight and look at what this means. Someone said something, and because we live in a state where that can be all it takes to ruin a person, he was arrested.

I started this letter mentioning the Flugtag, and the last time I wrote a letter like this. I reference back to that. We, METROCON, as a whole, handled a crisis that was presented to us as if out of nowhere. We banded together, we found our fun for the weekend, we fought off the drunks and the Red Bull jockies, and we found ourselves feeling more like a family than ever before. What I am asking you to do now is that same thing. This entire situation was not started by a cry of pain or anguish from a victim. This was a malicious attack on the convention itself. I stress the fact that it was an attack on the convention, and not Mr. Roy Harms, because if anyone wanted to bring this to him with the least amount of fallout and backlash as possible, and without hurting the anime community in Florida, they would not have done it 8 days before the convention.

Every year at closing ceremonies, Roy personally gets up and reminds everyone that this convention is absolutely nothing without the fans in the audience. Without everyone there, we're just a bunch of nerds in a big empty building. We'd still have fun, sure, but it would not be the euphoric, ensnaring event that this convention has come to represent. To me, this is more than just a weekend where I work and hang out with my friends, talk about anime, and put on shows. This weekend is about you. Every single one of you. And I know for a fact, that this is Mr. Roy Harms' mentality as well. In this show I have found my family, my dreams, my fears, my struggles, and (direct or indirect) everything that I hold dear in this world. In the 6 and a half years that METROCON has existed, I have heard so many stories of panic, anguish, unhappiness and depression that were solved in that three days at METROCON...you wouldn't believe me if I told you some of them.

To make my point... It's not about one person, or what they're being accused of. It isn't about the people out there doing everything within their power to try and stop us. It's not about any malicious attempt to take something important to you, the congoers, away from you, ripping it mercilessly from those who want, need, and had it. What it IS about, is us. Every single person that attends, works for, looks into, thinks about, talks about, writes about, and dreams about METROCON. Anyone who reads this is infinitely more important to this convention than Roy or myself could even hope to be. But without each other, and everyone else that normally fills those halls of the convention center with the flash of a camera or the ring of a cell phone...without the faint hum of an iPod headphone dangling from someone's ear, or the giggling of a new romance forming...without everything we stand for being intact...we are useless.

That being said, in an effort to do what is best for us as a family, Roy has made a decision to step down. I will be spearheading the convention for what is left of this season, along with our third Core Staff member, our Head of Security and a trusted friend of mine, Nick Fazio. Roy has made it very clear to me, although this attack is still only an assumption and simply that, an attack, it does endanger the reputation of this show. He does not want anything associated with him to be associated with this convention, be it truth or biased fiction, and despite the convincing it took for us to agree, we believe this to be our best course of action. METROCON is a family event, and it always will be, and should anyone doubt the safety of their children at this event because of an accusation based on a story from years ago that has been twisted to an unidentifiable state, we hope this will dispel their concerns. Hopefully after a while, this will all blow over, and Roy can step back into his shoes as Mr. Metrocon. However, only time will tell, and rest assured we as the Core Staff of METROCON will always and only do what is best for this family.

Until the day comes when people give up on what they believe in, there will be a METROCON, no matter who attempts to do what to any of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will see you all in a week, and if you have any questions, direct them to me. My contact information is below.


Alex Craddock
[email protected]

I highlighted the above portion as that was something that had irked me.  For the first response to be that an accusation of statutory rape is really just an attack against a convention is ridiculous.  I'm not saying there's a reason to not believe such motives are involved, but you don't make that a part of your response to the situation.  Being from Florida, I'm well aware of all of the convention and group drama that has gone on for the past half-decade or so.  Honestly, if people wanted to take down conventions, there are far easier ways to do so.  I don't think there is anyone that would hate a convention so much that they'd take out the con chair in a sex scandal.  There's obviously a lot more to this story than what's being reported.  I've heard rumors over the years about the con chair and relationships with teenage girls, but never put any weight to them as it is just another piece of Florida con drama.  Sadly, I'm not surprised at all about this because this is the drama-ridden state of Florida.  This will only put more fuel onto the fire of the pointless bickering and name calling.  It's not my place to say whether he's guilty or not, that's for the court to decide.  Just know that at least for this weekend, Roy Harms will not be there as Mr. Metrocon.


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Andres Cerrato
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Filed under... #Community #Cons #creepy #Sex

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