Akron FrightFest Promotional Photo | Facebook
Less than 24 hours after we reported
that Akron FrightFest was actively calling customers accusing an employee of "mock-raping" guests at their park "liars" on its Facebook page, we have a statement from the company. Jeremy Caudill, managing partner of Melanie Lake Inc. at Kim Tam Park, posted on the company's Facebook page announcing that employees have been suspended and an investigation into the allegations has begun.
While it is more than likely that a rogue employee is responsible for the accusations, the bigger issue is that from the outside looking in, it appears it took national attention for a representative of Melanie Lake Inc. at Kim Tam Park to do the right hing. For three days, victims were silenced, discounted and accused of outright lying in an attempt to "destroy the park."
It's concerning because how the park dealt with a "mock rape" is very similar to how people handle real accusations
of sexual assault. Immediately discounting the testimony of victims is a product of rape culture. Publicly calling those who speak out "liars" is why so many people never come forward when they are actually
raped. Nothing about how the company handled this situation was appropriate, but it's a relief to see that they're finally making it right.
Fortunately, the company did announce that a portion of the gate sales will be donated to to the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties, an admirable decision based on the very serious allegations and their initial mishandling of the situation.