Online Game Becomes Sexploitation Site
June 22, 2006 9:11 AM
Fiore Mastroianni Reports:
In an attempt to avoid traceable e-mails, pedophiles are using online games, including Sony's Everquest, to target and communicate with their victims, according to federal investigators.
Federal prosecutors in Illinois today announced the arrest of 40-year-old John Wayne Malone, of Pittsburgh, Texas, for using Everquest to lure a 14-year-old girl in Moline, Ill. into sending provocative, naked photos of herself and participating in online sex chats.
He was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and receiving pornographic material over the internet, officials said.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, Malone used the Everquest characters "Elveron" and "Bezapada" to make and continue contact with the girl.
"For how I feal [sic] about you I could go to jail for years," Malone wrote the girl, according to the affidavit.
"Technology provides child predators with more sophisticated and sinister methods," said United States Attorney Rodger A. Heaton of the Central District of Illinois, where Malone was charged.
U.S. postal inspectors were able to get records from the Sony online game computers in California revealing the communications.
"You have got me all turned on and only you and only you for a year now," Malone also wrote the girl, according to the affidavit.
The girl's father became aware of the communications and alerted federal authorities.
Malone was arrested on June 14 in Texas and released on bond. Reached at his home, he told ABC News he did not deny the allegations.
"They were a terrible mistake," Malone said. "I've always tried to make people happy, and I don't think of myself as a monster or a type of creature," Malone said.