Authorities in Delaware County arrested a 33-year-old child predator Thursday after receiving information that he used Twitch to lure over 50 boys age 9 thru 12 and videotape them nude, Your Content has learned.
The sex predator – identified as Geoffrey Christopher Hines, 33, of the 7200 block of Clinton Road in Upper Darby – was charged with 100 felony counts of possessing and producing child pornography.
The charges, filed by Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, was the culmination of a months-long investigation led by Criminal Investigation Division Detective Sergeant Ken Bellis, Commander of the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC).
“This arrest highlights the need for vigilance in connection with your child’s use of electronic devices. As a result of the coronavirus, children are spending more time than ever in their own ‘virtual’ worlds. While video gaming devices offer a welcome break from the tedium brought on by Covid-19, they also present an enormous challenge. Make sure you are having regular conversations with your children about how to use these devices appropriately,” said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
“I want to express my appreciation to the ICAC Task Force team– particularly Detective Sergeant Bellis – as well as to the members of the Upper Darby and Tinicum Police Departments for their tireless work in putting this case together. I know that they believe, as I do, that the safety of our children is our top priority.”
Police tell Your Content the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) began receiving numerous reports from the live streaming service Twitch Interactive sometime in July 2019.
Twitch advertises that it is the world’s leading video platform for gamers. It is also used for broadcasts of eSports competitions, music broadcasts, and live streaming events.
Twitch alerted NCMEC to a user who communicated with more than 50 children, asking them to expose their genitals and send sexually explicit content to the user.
Twitch also provided NCMEC with multiple videos containing similarly explicit content that had been created by the same user.
Twitch identified the communications as coming from two IP addresses, both of which were traced back to the suspect’s Upper Darby address. The suspect targeted boys between 9 and 12 years old, located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
To date, law enforcement has identified ten of the more than 50 potential victims, and the children have confirmed to investigators that the suspect lured them into exposing their genitals in return for gift cards.
Based upon the information provided by NCMEC, on May 18, 2020 Detective Sergeant Bellis obtained a warrant to search the suspect’s Upper Darby property. Assisted by members of the Upper Darby Police Department and the Tinicum Police Department, CID Detectives executed the warrant the following day.
The suspect was home at the time of the search and confirmed that he used Twitch to communicate with the young boys, persuade them into removing their clothes, display their genitals, and, in some cases, perform sex acts via livestreaming.
Multiple electronic devices were retrieved from the suspect’s home. Preliminary forensic examination of those devices identified more than 25 videos depicting minor male children who complied with the suspect’s requests by removing their clothes. Detectives also identified hundreds of additional video recordings depicting minor male children being manipulated into removing their clothes.
The suspect is being held at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility on $500,000 cash bail. No date has been set for the preliminary hearing.
Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division reminds anyone in Delaware County who observes suspicious activity to call 911 immediately and provide the most specific and accurate details possible to assist law enforcement agencies investigating the call for service.