YouTube shuts down tween channels after video producer's conviction

'Seven Super Girls' founder pleaded guilty to child abuse

YouTube terminated several channels run by Ian Rylett after he pleaded guilty to child abuse charges in Orange County.

ORLANDO, Fla. – YouTube has terminated several popular video channels featuring tween girls just days after the channel's producer pleaded guilty to child abuse.

Ian Rylett, 55, was arrested in August at a hotel near Walt Disney World on charges that he molested a teen actress who was hoping to appear in his videos.

In 2008, Rylett created the popular YouTube channel "Seven Awesome Kids" that featured videos of children and young teens performing skits in costumes, going on vacation, or doing routine activities around their homes.

Over the past decade, Rylett added several spinoff channels, including "Seven Perfect Angels" and the flagship "Seven Super Girls."

Known collectively as the SAK Channels, more than 17 million YouTube users subscribed to the videos, helping to generate more than 10 billion total video views.

Last week, Rylett entered into an agreement with prosecutors to avoid going on trial and facing a possible 15-year prison sentence if convicted of lewd and lascivious molestation.

In exchange for pleading guilty to child abuse, Rylett was sentenced to 90 days in the Orange County Jail with credit given for the 29 days he had previously served while awaiting trial.

Once Rylett is released from custody, he will be placed on supervised probation for five years.
As part of the plea agreement, Rylett cannot have contact with the victim or her mother. The video producer also cannot have contact with any minors except his daughter.

At the time of Rylett's arrest, YouTube temporarily blocked his videos from earning advertising revenue. The company indicated the channel would be terminated if Rylett was convicted or entered a plea.
Following Rylett's guilty plea, News 6 contacted YouTube to inquire about the producer's video channels, which remained online.

Less than two days later, the SAK Channels were no longer available on YouTube.   A message stating "this channel no longer exists" now appears on the pages.

"We take safety on YouTube very seriously," a company spokesperson wrote in a statement to News 6.  "We work closely with leading child safety organizations and others in our industry to protect young people. When we’re made aware of serious allegations of this nature we take action, which may include terminating channels upon conclusion of an investigation."

A YouTube spokesperson said the company is committed to fighting back against the exploitation of young people by using technology to identify illegal content and hiring child safety experts such as social workers and former federal law enforcement personnel.

Last year YouTube terminated and reported information about 46,000 user accounts to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the company.

About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than two decades.