A comics publisher is taking cartoonists to court for accusing him of rape

In the wake of the Me Too movement, we’ve seen the same story unfold numerous times. First, one or more people will accuse a public figure of sexual harassment or assault, either on social media or in interviews like Ronan Farrow‘s explosive report on Harvey Weinstein. Then, the accused person either responds with a denial or apology.

In the case of indie comics publisher and cartoonist Cody Pickrodt, things went a little differently.

After being accused of rape, sexual assault, anti-Semitism, and withholding royalty payments from artists, he’s taking 11 of his accusers to court for $2.5 million due to “emotional and mental distress.”

According to this report by Alec Berry at the Comics Journal, the lawsuit stems from a rape accusation posted in a Google Document by cartoonist Whit Taylor last year. She wrote that in 2013, Pickrodt invited her to stay in his ex-girlfriend’s home during a visit to New York. There, he allegedly raped Taylor, after which she left the apartment and went to the hospital. She mentions ignoring “red flags” regarding his attitude toward women in the comics community because she was excited to meet someone who seemed interested in publishing her work. In other words, a sadly familiar description of someone allegedly abusing their position of authority in a creative industry.