Man Accused Of Using Xbox To Prey On Kids

Xbox Used To Target Kids

GASTON, N.C. -- New horrifying details have been released in the case of a Gaston County man who allegedly coaxed nude photos and videos from little boys -- some as young as 9 years old -- using the Xbox.

At least 10 victims under the age of 16 are listed in the federal plea agreement filed this week.

Prosecutors say Benjamin Godwin Swanson had 24 different accounts on the Xbox gaming system and used them to target victims in North Carolina and 5 other states.

In many cases, Swanson allegedly pretended to be a 14-year-old girl named Jessica.

State attorneys say he used the chat feature to convince young boys under the age of 16 to send nude photos of themselves.

“I would advise no phones or tablets or computers in your child's bedroom,” Gaston County detective Brent Heavener told NBC Charlotte.

“Parents are naïve to this," Heavener said. "I'm telling you it's real. It's happening every day every single day every minute of the day.”

Even though Swanson is behind bars now, police say there are other predators who are starting to use gaming systems to find young victims in part, because parents generally monitor them less than other social media accounts like Facebook.

Gaming systems like Xbox offer parental controls, but they’re not automatic. You need to log in and physically turn off features like messaging, calls, video chat, and random friend requests.

Swanson’s plea agreement was just filed this week, it does not list the charges he will face, those will be released once a court date is set.

Copyright 2018 WCNC


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