Robert Lynch, 20, has been issued a warrant from the Washtenaw County's prosecutor's office for using the live chat function of the Xbox 360 to get underage girls into sexual situations. He is expected to turn himself over to authorities for arraignment on three counts of attempting to accost children for immoral purposes, said Saline Police Detective Don Lupi. The charges carry potential sentences of up to four years.
Police said Lynch never had sex with any of the 11- to 14-year-old girls but made sexual suggestions and mailed condoms to several Saline (Michigan) Middle School girls he met online between Jan. 8 and Feb. 8. He also arranged to meet several girls, two of which were arranged to meet with him at a strip club.
Police also said that the method Lynch allegedly "used was the Xbox Live Chat device to communicate with the victims," however, the police did not indicate the name of the game or games Lynch might have been playing when he met the girls.
This is the most recent case of child predators using online gaming as an avenue to lure underage girls into sexual exploitation. More recently, a Massachusetts man was charged in Detroit in February of sexually abusing a 13-year old that he had met while playing the online game "Runerscape".
In this case, John Phillips, 54, was accused of having sex with the girl after visiting her in Detroit. He was charged with 11 felonies that included sexual assault, using a computer to communicate with another person to commit a crime and engaging in child sexual abuse activities. His sentence will range between four to 20 years in prison.
In the Robert Lynch case, police yesterday issued a statement that said: "The length of the investigation was protracted by the need to conduct forensic interviews with the victims."
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