Employees at a popular haunted house Halloween attraction in Ohio have been suspended after at least one couple accused them of staging a mock rape scene without consent.
Sarah Lelonek and Ryan Carr have accused actors at the Akron Fright Fest of carrying out a scene that mimics rape, without the pair consenting or signing a wavier prior to entry.
“There was a man in a mask standing over my boyfriend. My boyfriend was on the edge of a bed and he was being pushed down,” Lelonek told local ABC News 5.
“She comes over and yells, ‘Stop, what are you doing? That’s my boyfriend,’” Carr said of the incident. “He, word for word, he’s like, “Your boyfriend? Not anymore, he’s mine now, I’m going to rape him.’
“And then he started thrusting against me,” Carr claimed.
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Akron Fright Fest, which operates on Kim Tam Park property, has a haunted house for all ages, and a more adult oriented haunted experience where customers need to be over the age of 18 and are required to sign a waiver prior to entering.
The couple claim the mock rape scene played out in a haunted house that didn’t require a waiver.
Jeremy Caudill, managing partner of Melanie Lake Inc. at Kim Tam Park, issued a statement, saying he was “shocked and appalled” when he learned of “the allegations of a mock rape scene.”
“We’re still investigating and trying to find out exactly what happened, and we’re hearing some confusing, inconsistent reports,” Caudill said. “But I want to emphasize this point: There is no place for anything like this at our park.”
Caudill said that employees who worked in the area where the alleged scene took place had been suspended until conclusion of an investigation.
“Obviously, rape is a horrible act. Even a mock rape scene has no place as part of any entertainment,” Caudill said. “And it has no place at our park.”
The manager said the park will donate portions of its proceeds to local rape crisis centres.