A Texas man was sentenced to life in prison after he used an online game to lure a 13-year old child into a sexual relationship.
Many parents don’t realize that online games have messaging capabilities. However, predators like 47-year-old George Daniel McGavitt know it all too well.
McGavitt targeted a little girl attending online school and using the Roblox site to play games. He pretended to be 16 years old and talked her into switching over to Facebook to communicate with him.
According to the child, “Within three months, the free, bubbly, carefree girl that I knew myself to be became isolated, depressed, and suicidal.”
Law enforcement said he coerced the child into taking sexually explicit videos and photos and sending them to him. He even traveled to her hometown in Arkansas to have sex with her on multiple occasions.
Back in May of last year, the child confessed the relationship with McGavitt to her parents.
All over the country we are seeing an increase of online child exploitation and targeting,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick. “Our kids have been on their devices a lot since March – both for school and for fun – and predators are out there. Parents must have access to their kid’s devices, know their online communities and talk with them about internet boundaries.”
A Texas judge sentenced McGavitt to serve life for the coercion and enticement. He also received 360 and 120 months for the production and possession of child pornography, respectively.
It’s important for all adults to realize that many games and educational apps offer messaging capabilities where predators can get to children. With so many children attending school online, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant.