A Canadian man charged with making child sexual exploitation material ran a popular Reddit fetish community dedicated to ‘age play’ roleplaying fantasies.
Richard Burdett, 55, went by the Reddit usernames of “fstopvox” and “F_Stop_Fitzgerald” and gained internet notoriety from creating role-play audio recordings based around extreme fetishes including those of rape, age-play, child sexual abuse, and more. The recordings were intended to be sexually arousing, with Burdett narrating a script which generally included him being an adult male in a position of power over a young girl.
The subreddit Burdett moderated had over 5,000 members and was described as a repository for the recordings, most of which included Burdett roleplaying as a ‘daddy’ or ‘teacher’ chastising children. In one recording, Burdett acted as a police officer conducting a sexualized interview with a young girl who had been molested.
Burdett’s popularity was reflected in that some users even created loving fan art of him, with one Tumblr user drawing romantic scenes featuring Burdett in the Japanese animation style.
While working as a high school drama teacher in 2007, Burdett was found to have written more than 1,300 intimate, sexually charged messages to a female high school student, including a graphic description of how he had dreamt of performing oral sex on her. According to The Toronto Star, Burdett had also been “spooning” four Grade 11 and 12 pajama-clad female students in his dormitory bedroom during a school trip.
After these incidents came to light, Burdett was given a 12-month suspension in February 2011 and required to complete a “boundary violation” course. After that time, he was found to be in “good standing” and approved to teach again by the Ontario College of Teachers.
During this time, Burdett was also taking “boudoir” photography, which The Toronto Star asserts involved teenage girls.
According to a press release from the Toronto Police Service, Burdett was arrested on April 20 as part of an investigation into child sexual abuse material possession.
Burdett was charged with the crimes after the police executed a search warrant at his Toronto home. A total of 5 charges were laid, including luring a child under 18 years of age, possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography, producing child pornography, and making child pornography available to others.
Reddit has since responded to the incident by banning the subreddit and suspending Burdett’s accounts, but archives of the pages show both were popular and frequently accessed, with Burdett being an active user.
Speaking to the Toronto Star, a Reddit spokesperson stated that “child sexual abuse material has no place on the Reddit platform,” and that users found to be disseminating such material were both banned and reported to law enforcement.
While the website claims to have a policy that does not permit any sexual or suggestive content about minors, including ‘fantasies’ which include a role-play of a child, Reddit has dozens of active boards dedicated to just that.
r/AgePlayASMR has just under 2,000 members and is dedicated to audio content similar to what Burdett was publishing. r/DDlg boasts over 112,000 members and is intended for individuals interested in the ‘daddy dom – little girl’ lifestyle, with some female users posting sexualized pictures of themselves in diapers and using pacifiers.
Reddit has long been considered a hub for disturbing, pornographic material, and is frequently at the center of child sexual abuse scandals. Last year, the site was sued by a victim of revenge porn after failing to remove images of the victim from when she was under the age of 18 posted by her boyfriend.
In 2021, Reddit experienced widespread site protests after hiring Aimee Challenor, a trans-identified male whose father was sentenced to 22 years in prison for raping and torturing a 10-year-old girl. Challenor had hired his father into a safety sensitive position within the UK Green Party, and hid his horrific past from the public. Challenor’s partner was similarly embroiled in controversy for having admitted to fantasizing about children being sexually abused.
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