Man Who Coerced Girl at Katsucon Pleads Guilty

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Michael Allen AlperMichael Allen Alper, an already convicted sex offender, has plead guilty  this past Wednesday to coercing and enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.  The 34 year old man met a 13 year old girl at Katsucon last year in Oxon Hill, Maryland.  He friended the girl on Facebook and mobile conversations and then engaged in sexual explicit conduct twice in the following month.  A friend of the girl found Alper’s previous conviction through the sex offender registry.

Under his plea agreement, Alper agreed to register as a sex offender where he lives, works, and studies. If the court accepts the plea agreement, Alper will be sentenced to between 10 and 14 years in prison. The court has scheduled his sentencing for October 28.

Alper was previously convicted of rape when he met a girl in Virginia in 2003.  He was sentenced to three years in prison (all but six months suspended) and three years of probation.

Katsucon released the following statement:

We at Katsucon have just recently been made aware of the case involving a Katsucon attendee pleaded guilty to coercing a minor into criminal sexual activity several weeks after first meeting the minor at our convention.

We would first like to express our sympathies and regret to the minor in question and the minor’s family that they would have to be put through such a trying ordeal.

The staff and volunteers at Katsucon work tremendously hard to make our event one that is safe for young attendees. To this end, we reach out to parents and guardians to make them aware of our event and what we have to offer.

In all cases, we suggest that Katsucon is a convention that parents and guardians are encouraged to experience with their children, and when that’s not possible, we always require that a parental consent form be completed so that the parents and guardians are fully aware that their child is attending our convention.

Katsucon also employs a full security staff that works in concert with the security staff in our convention facility to protect all of our attendees while they are in convention spaces. We make every effort to separate convention programming into age appropriate categories and enforce ID checks for convention events that are targeted at adult attendees.

Even will all of these measures, many times persons of a predatory nature are difficult to identify until it is too late.

In light of this event, Katsucon will make every effort to check our pre-registration attendee list against local and federally published sex offender registries and will prohibit attendance from those identified as a threat to our attendees in the hope to prevent an incident such as this from ever occurring again.

(via Anime News Network)