Man met girls at Colossalcon

Deputies notified of crimes after girl’s father uncovers text messages
Courtney Astolfi
Mar 20, 2014
A Logan County man was arrested Tuesday for an incident last summer in which he allegedly had sex with two underage girls at a Milan Road hotel.

Rodney Burnside, 22, of Huntsville, was charged with two counts unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, both fourth-degree felonies.

Burnside met a 13-year-old Geauga County girl at Colossalcon at Kalahari Resorts in 2012. The pair kept in contact throughout following year, texting and talking and setting up plans for the 2013 convention, Erie County Sheriff’s Detective Dennis Papineau said.

Part of those plans, Papineau said, was to have sex.

“He was basically communicating with the girl, saying she’s pretty and grooming her for this” Papineau said.

At last summer’s Colossalcon, Burnside and the now-14-year-old reconnected. The girl’s mother drove her and her 14-year-old friend to Kalahari for the convention, letting the girls explore while she stayed in an area designated for parents, Papineau said.

It was during that window the girl and her friend finally met up with Burnside. He allegedly drove them to a Milan Road hotel — saying he needed to change out of his costume there — and took both girls inside, Papineau said.

The friend waited inside the room as Burnside and the girl allegedly had sex. But when they finished, the friend, who was turning 15 later that week, expressed her interest in joining as well. Burnside then allegedly had sex with the friend, while the girl remained inside the room, Papineau said.

“Happy birthday sex — you’re 15” Burnside allegedly told her after they finished, according to deputies.

The trio returned to Kalahari and nothing more came of the rendezvous until one girl’s father uncovered text messages on her phone, Papineau said.

The discovery prompted him to reach out to deputies. When investigators interviewed the girls, both admitted to the encounter. Burnside also admitted to having sex with the girls, and deputies are certain he knew both were underage, Papineau said.

An Erie County grand jury indicted Burnside on his charges earlier this month. He was arrested Tuesday and is being held at the Erie County jail on $20,000 bond.

Comments

JMOP

Sick!

OH-IO

Sick is putting it kindly. All the talk on this site about teens fighting at a club or doing petty crimes isn't even close to this type of crime. Send him to jail with his green hair so Bubba the inmate can rehabilitate him.

Kitasokaru

What does his hair have to do with any of this?

Unassumer

the girls are no better than he is. if you're bringing them up right, you don't have to check their phones or what they're doing every minute. they should have known better than to keep in touch with the guy, go to a hotel with him and then consent to have sex. it sounds like if it wasn't him, it would have been someone else anyway. so he's not the only one that's guilty here.

OH-IO

He is the only one guilty here. It's a crime in America for a 22 year old adult to have sex with a 14-15 year old. He is the only one that's guilty here. That's the law and he broke it. He'll be charged with mulitiple charges.

ladydye_5

She was continuing the relationship/conversation with him for a year on the phone, yes he is 22, but she helped perpetuate the incident. As for the "designated parent area"? Why is a 22 year old allowed into the event but a parent is not???? I would not allow my child into an event like that alone. Knowing perverts JUST LIKE THIS are lurking around!!! So the parent is just lazy and didn't want to go with the children into the event? Or the parents are NOT allowed into the event? Is there an age limit into the event? Why is there an area for the parents to hang out in?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Hmm, perhaps with Shinbokucon coming up in April and Colossalcon in June I should dedicate a LFG column to this, but I'll make points here regarding the "convention scene" as it is a part of my life and business. I'm not even playing Devil's Advocate since that implies the convention itself is guilty of something.

Firstly, these conventions are not meant to be hotbeds of hormones. Their purpose is to celebrate anime, music, and video games that comprise a portion of Japan's pop culture. Costumes are worn, informative workshops and panels are given, and the voice actors of the characters often make appearances and do fan signings. It is a fun time away for entertainment and even education.

That said, parents are ALWAYS welcome. If there is any age separation it is that "adult-themed" programs have ID checkers at the door to ensure minors aren't exposed to inappropriate content if any is even scheduled. The "Parent's Section" isn't a corral to forcibly separate parents from their kids. Rather, it is a place (not necessarily even a "bar" as was implied below) that parents who are/n't into the culture to gather and meet/talk with each other or find non-otaku (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaku) entertainment.

What this man did was inappropriate and his much a slap in the face to the anime community as, for example, a person taking a gun to school is to gun lovers or even video game players. It was irresponsible and fortunately a very isolated incident. I can't comment about him nor can I about the parent, but it seems that several layers of monitoring were breached/ignored leading to this situation. What he did could very well have been done at the mall, a movie theater, etc.

A convention has security guards patrolling at all times. But that doesn't guarantee that the convention itself can watch your kids or know who they are with or why. As a parent it is your responsibility to do that. I would encourage everyone to attend an anime convention to see for yourself if my words are true. They are full of fun, friendship, and creativity.

I would also encourage you to trust your kids as it seems this parent did. However, with that trust is a measure of responsibility to ensure they are operating in accordance with your knowledge and guidelines.

Get a scheduling guide of all the events at the convention. Learn which programs are in which rooms at which times. That way after confirming where your child should be, you can either go with them or do something else knowing where they are. If you suspect something is happening or your child isn't where they are supposed to be, contact security.

Please don't let an incident like this ruin your perception of this hobby/lifestyle. It does not reflect the vast majority of its participants and could close your mind to very good outlets of entertainment, socialization, and creativity.

I'll be happy to answer any further questions you all may have regarding these events.

OH-IO

It's not ok and it's against the law for someone his age to be with them even if they hid it from their parents and were promiscuous girls. It's against the law. He broke the law. How dare some of you try to justify him committing statutory rape.

DickTracey

And by "designated area for parents" do you mean, BAR? Give me a break!

Parents pay attention to your kids. She was texting him for over a year, and you just now found out? You pay the cell phone bill, you have every right to see who she is calling and texting.

JMOP

All involved are nasty. Yeah, he broke the law, but at 13 and 14 years old, ya know better too.
I would be devastated to find out if my kids would do something that disgusting without hesitation, with such lack of self respect.

4-wheeler al

he looks 15 too. both of them should know better. when by boys was that age with phones, I had my phone plan on line I watch it all the time. they call me a spy and I smiled, because I can.

44846GWP

"I'm a good girl Daddy", aka Kellie Bundy.

thinkagain

Look at the foundation on which children are raised. Here we have an example of what today’s ungodly liberals strive to emulate, if it feels good do it. So what if I get pregnant, I’ll just pop a pill and kill that parasite.

Children must be taught morals when they are young to have them transfer to adulthood.

What are your children being taught?

Dilligaff

Not defending the girl, but could also be a situation where this green haired freak was manipulating her. Girls that young are very impressionable and are easily swayed by an older guy.

Kitasokaru

What does his hair have to do with anything?

ladydye_5

Have you dealt with girls this age today? They are just as manipulating. And are not very impressionable. They are usually the ones swaying.

Kitasokaru

I'm going to say this once and only once.
THIS MAN IS INNOCENT!
You people are only hearing half of the story and it's the two teenage girls. To point out his hair in any of this is irrelevant. And conventions are not bad for anyone. If a parents is that worried about their child then try sticking with them. We all know teenagers are a hot bed of hormones these days. Also I can tell you right now this man is NOT behind bars. He paid his bail and has a lawyer. If anything HE is the victim here. He is innocent until proven guilty and I know he's innocent. These girls are making up crap. How do I know? Because I know the guy. He is yes a pervert, but so is nearly every man on the planet whether openly or not, however he never steps over any boundaries. Never has and never will. Continue slandering if you wish but I stand by him. I can't trust the words in the Sandusky Register when I know the full truth better than anyone who's probably read the article.

Stop It

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at your comment. He's busted. Get over it.

Kitasokaru

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at your comment. This is only half the story. I know what you don't. He's innocent. Get over it.

WeThePeople1965

He admitted to having sex with both of them, and there's clearly evidence of sexual harassment, the year of text messaging. We do know that the sexts actually happened. It doesn't matter if the girls consented or not, they're not of the age to consent. Why would a 22 year old want to have sex with a 13-14-15 year old anyway? They're kids. It's called statutory rape. If you know the facts, then why don't you announce them?

Kitasokaru

First off he didn't "admit" to anything. This is on the words of two teenaged girls. Second there is text evidence that says "She's pretty" not "Hey want sex?" or anything of the type. Third they could have lied to him about their ages. And yes the "Happy birthday sex, your 15" could have been made up. I know the facts but this is not something outsiders who don;t know either of them should even being sticking their noses into. I'm defending a friend I've known since before this incident.
On top of all of this I KNOW he never left the convention center because he never does. At most he asks to leave his bags in my room at the con so he can get changed and that's it. He never leaves the grounds.

Now get your face out of business that does not regard to you being that you know not any of the people involved.

WeThePeople1965

The police questioned him. Police are not going to just go with the kids' 'word,' they're going to look for evidence, like through text messaging, that this was planned for prior to the incident. If there's evidence in the text messages, like sexting, then he's guilty, even if the sex never happened. And just by looking at a female, you can tell what age they are. An adult is MUCH different than a teenager. This case was made public, so if I want to 'stick my nose in it,' you better bet I will.

Kitasokaru

*yawn* I'll wait until this is all over and you are all proven wrong. Continue with your boring pathetic and selfish lives.

Stop It

" Burnside also admitted to having sex with the girls, and deputies are certain he knew both were underage, Papineau said."

You must have missed that part in the article above.

Kitasokaru

He "said" so he said she said now makes a person guilty? wow. Just wow.

Why Am I Here

I know that you claim to know this guy and maybe you really do, and i agree this whole thing is bullshit the facts are all wrong because i know the girls and neither of them gave any information out for this. so i'm curios as to where this articles information came from. in fact i was surprised to learn his name considering when i talked with him before he told me his name was Trey... so maybe he isn't as truthfull as you believe because i've seen the texts in person and i've talked to both girls i was with the at the con briefly before i went to go check other things out
yes they left the con. so if he said that he didn't he was lying to you which wouldn't be the first time "Tray's" done that now would it?

Kitasokaru

I do know him. Very well. I am friends with him and still am now. I know him well enough to know he wouldn't have the guts to do this. The name "Tre" (properly spelled) is a nickname from his friends. So yes his name is technically "Tre." He has also stated he dislikes being called Rodney.
As far as the rest I have no reason to say anything further. Malaketh made a point below and I completely agree with it. On a side note I suggest you check your spelling as "tray" is an object and not a person plus you spelled it two different ways. You don't know him the way I do so I cannot say he is a criminal. Based off how I know he is I do not see him capable of being a sex offender.

Kitasokaru

I do know him. Very well. I am friends with him and still am now. I know him well enough to know he wouldn't have the guts to do this. The name "Tre" (properly spelled) is a nickname from his friends. So yes his name is technically "Tre." He has also stated he dislikes being called Rodney.
As far as the rest I have no reason to say anything further. Malaketh made a point below and I completely agree with it. On a side note I suggest you check your spelling as "tray" is an object and not a person plus you spelled it two different ways. You don't know him the way I do so I cannot say he is a criminal. Based off how I know he is I do not see him capable of being a sex offender.

Informed

Some of you people kill me. You act as if young teenage girls should be immune from any form of manipulation or temptation. Here's the main problem with your thinking. How on earth can we expect kids (and these girl are still kids) to understand and respect boundaries when so many adults don't? How can we expect them to resist temptation when so many adults don't? As an adult, it is up to us to teach young people why crossing such a boundary isn't appropriate, not encourage them to do so. The whole responsibility here lies with the adult. And we aren't talking about an newly turned 18-year-old here. This guy is 22!
Did you ever stop to think that maybe these girls were such easy pickings because maybe they were either abused or neglected in the past, have dysfunctional home lives, or have special needs ( many of which you cannot identify by looking at someone, such as mental health issues or learning disabilities)? Having a older guy come on to you can be very flattering to a young teenage girl. If they are already having issues, they can be very easily manipulated.

Kitasokaru

Your all pathetic. Reading your comments amuse me some considering how little all of you know. This article is false by simple words alone. If your petty enough to believe it, as much as our society does, then please continue with your close minded stupidity. The truth will out. And believe me when it does. All of you are going to be eating your own words at how dumb you sound. I think I'll sit back and enjoy it.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Be careful about levying such a judgment on people, especially when not everyone here is calling for his head and/or advocating for the shutting down of this or other conventions.

Kitasokaru

The convention is not an issue here. In truth any bad situations with people can happen anywhere. This allegation just happens to be around a con. No other conventions are likely to be shut down. It wouldn't change the fact that common sense is needed in any child/adult and that in reality the convention is not at fault for something that could happen just about anywhere.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Oh I understand, you are preaching to the choir regarding the environment of the convention. Hence my comments on protocol/parental advice above and mine to you. There are many readers here who don't comment and while the allegations are shocking, trust that there are level heads. Just don't be too quick to tell others here to be patient and not be yourself.

It's tough, I'm sure, as it seems like you know him, the girls, or some aspect/party of the situation. If that's the case then my non-legal (I'm not a lawyer) advice would be to talk to whomever is defending him to supply facts or otherwise be a witness of some kind.

malaketh

Firstly, lets address this as it stands. He has been indicted.
in·dict (V): (of a grand jury) to bring a formal accusation against, as a means of bringing to trial.

Further, he has not been convicted of said crime as of yet. We being on the outside are not privy to the details of what occurred and until such a time that we are, we should all cease and desist making judgements. Who are we to judge?

There are many things we simply do not know. So cease spouting off and spilling vitriol all over this. We should look at ourselves just as critically as we judge both this young man and these girls.

Too many times now in our society we deem it necessary to judge before learning the details. To make matters worse, we feel entitled to put someone else down to make ourselves look better. Particularly online. Just remember though for all the poisoned words they spill on one person it shows the true nature of their own hearts. Vile, backstabbing and covetous creatures with no spine to back their words and no care for anything but themselves. The internet is not your weapon to wield carelessly and expect no repercussions. Think before you act/react. Let this case work its way out and leave the judging to the judge/magistrate.

thinkagain

“Vile, backstabbing and covetous creatures with no spine to back their words and no care for anything but themselves.”

Dude, for someone against judging, you sure did a lot of judging.

malaketh

Let the trolling begin.

Stop It

Heh....