The Delaware County Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force raided Geoffrey Hines’ Upper Darby, Pennsylvania rowhome earlier this month.
The district attorney’s office says a search of his hard drives and computer files uncovered more than 1,400 videos of child porn.
“He is arrested and charged with over 100 felony counts,” said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
Stollsteimer says Hines targeted his victims on the world’s leading live streaming gaming site, Twitch.
Twitch allows people to watch others play games like Fortnite and chat with them.
The victims were all boys, some as young as 9 years old, and live all around the world.
All of the alleged acts were done through gaming, computer and other device cameras.
Stollsteimer says, “He would ask them to engage in sexual acts in return for monetary gains. He’d send them gift cards or sometimes he’d just buy them gaming credits.”
Nicole Laing lives next door to Hines.
“I think it’s crazy, and I worry because my son plays video games a lot,” says Laing.
The 33-year-old defendant lived inside the home with his mother and stepfather. They declined to comment when approached by Action News.
The arrest has Laing thinking about her young son.
“I’ll definitely be more in tune now. It’s scary, you don’t ever know who they are talking to,” she says.
Stollsteimer says Hines admitted to victimizing more than 100 boys, many who haven’t been identified.
He credits Twitch for providing the tip that led to the year-long investigation.
“To their great credit, Twitch has defenses built into their system that was able to identify this use as someone abusing children, made a report and the report came to my office,” said Stollsteimer.
Stollsteimer’s message to parents: talk to your kids about the dangers and limit the amount of time on these games and gaming sites.
Hines remains behind bars unable to post the $500,000 bail.
Twitch released this statement on Action News regardign the investigation:
“Any exploitation of this nature is reprehensible, and we take this issue extremely seriously. The public nature of our service means that these incidents are rare, but nonetheless abhorrent. We are complying fully with law enforcement.
The safety of our global community is our top priority. We are collaborating with industry members to combat child sexual exploitation online through our work with the Technology Coalition and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). We have introduced numerous products and tools to ensure the community experiences Twitch safely, in the way we intend. We regularly assess and update our policies and practices to ensure we are appropriately addressing emerging and evolving behaviors.”
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