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Saturday, June 15, 2024

UF student admits to violent threats against TikTok star Josh Richards

Violent Instagram post directed at Richards led to court case

Screenshot of Josh Richards announcement on UF Accent Speakers and UF Student Government page.
Screenshot of Josh Richards announcement on UF Accent Speakers and UF Student Government page.

Ryan Marin, 19, entered an affidavit of admission Thursday regarding a violent Instagram post he made directed at TikTok star Josh Richards. 

Marin posted an image of Richards on June 15 under the Instagram account “uf.kaworu” that depicted the Accent Speaker being shot in the head with a bleeding mouth. Law enforcement cited the post as a potential threat to kill Richards, who was scheduled to speak June 29. 

His $60,000 speaking engagement eventually took place Sept. 8. Student Government leaders initially said it was postponed due to a family obligation, but University Police Department records show Richards filed a complaint alleging the Instagram post was a financial loss and led him to cancel the session. 

Marin created his post, which he made about two weeks before Richards’ cancellation, by himself prior to the original Accent Speaker session, according to his affidavit of admission.

Marin denied allegations after Richards filed the initial complaints. But on the morning of Nov. 15, Marin reportedly turned himself into Alachua County jail and was released that afternoon on a $5,000 bail.

Marin was tried on two felony charges: second-degree written intimidation toward Richards, which received no action, meaning the charge was dropped, and aggravated assault in the third-degree. This charge will be removed from Marin’s record if he fulfills the court’s sentencing of 50 hours of community service, a $200 fine and a no contact order against Richards for 18 months.

Richards faced public backlash after flashing fans on an Instagram Live video in 2020. He also faced skepticism for his relationship with Sway House, a Los Angeles mansion run by TikTok stars that are known for drug arrests and inappropriate behavior. 

The decision to book Richards for $60,000 has long faced criticism on social media, some student voters saying it led them to vote for Change Party in the Fall Student Senate election.

Contact Sophia at sbailly@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @sophia_bailly.

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Sophia Bailly

Sophia Bailly is a second-year journalism major and covers politics for the enterprise desk. Some of her favorite things include The Beatles, croissants and Agatha Christie books. When she's not writing stories she's either reading or going for a run.


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