Cosplay – the act of dressing up as a character from a work of fiction – can be fun to watch and do for as long as violations are not committed. The concept of cosplay here in the Philippines took a dark turn as the Manila Bulletin reported yesterday a crime news report about the arrest of man who was accused by a lady of rape after he lured her to what was supposed to be a cosplay photo shoot. Reportedly the arrest took four years to do and it turns out there was a warrant of arrest issued for the suspect.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…
A man who was accused of raping a woman he lured into posing as a cosplay artist was finally nabbed by authorities at a Quezon City mall on Monday afternoon, Sept. 5, 2022, after eluding arrest for more than four years.
Carl Jefferson Soriano, 26, was collared by operatives of the Manila Police District (MPD)-Special Operations Unit (SOU), and the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) of the Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU) of the National Capital Region (NCR) based on a warrant issued by Pasay City Regional Trial Court Judge Gina M. Bibat-Palamos last May 30, 2018. No bail was recommended for his temporary release.
Soriano’s arrest came four years after the complainant reached out to then broadcaster and now senator Raffy Tulfo in his complaints/civic action show, seeking justice for what Soriano had done to her.
The complainant told Tulfo in his show Raffy Tulfo in Action on Feb. 21, 2018 that she met Soriano on Facebook where the suspect engaged her in chats, and was able to convince her to model for him in cosplay costumes.
She said Soriano promised him P7,500 for the photoshoot.
She added that, on the day of the photoshoot, Soriano fetched her on a transport network vehicle service (TNVS), and brought her to a hotel in Pasay City.
According to the victim, Soriano even asked her to pay for the TVNS fare, and the hotel room, and that he will just add on these costs to her talent fee later.
Soriano then told her that two more models and another photographer would be arriving soon to join them.
But it was while they were waiting that the suspect was able to force himself on her, and even banged her head on the wall before raping her.
After she was violated, Soriano belligerently told her that they would have to go to his condominium.
However, after arriving at the lobby of the condominium, Soriano excused himself, saying that he was going to get something from his motorcycle. He never came back.
Indeed, the Manila Bulletin news report above is very disturbing. This might affect the way cosplay is done here in the Philippines from organizing private photo shoots to doing cosplay at special events like comic conventions or pop culture events that involve the use of costumes. Can you just imagine how vulnerable a female cosplayer would be playing Darna whose traditional look exposes a lot of skin?
Speaking of crime related to cosplay, the Anime News Network (ANN) published last January an article about a photographer who got arrested for allegedly drugging and assaulting multiple cosplayers.
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you think the allegations of rape and the mentioned cosplay photo shoot are real and could be proven in court? If you are a parent who has a child fond of cosplay, does this crime news report make you feel worried about your child’s safety? Do you think that new rules are need to protect cosplayers from sexual assault, harassment and rape?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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