Rochester, N.Y. --- Law enforcement officials claim Richard Kretovic’s case is just one example of a fairly new trend in criminal behavior. Kretovic, 19 of Greece, pled not guilty Thursday to all of the 19 charges included in an indictment against him. He remains released on $10,000 bail and his lawyer had no comment following the court proceedings. The Sexual Abuse and Criminal Sex Act charges carry a potential maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.
Prosecutors and police claim Kretovic engaged in sexual acts with a 12 year-old boy that he’d met in an online Xbox gaming chat room. Between December and March the two met up four times at Kretovic’s Greece home according to authorities.
"It's becoming more and more prevalent, this is the first case that I've personally handled," Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride said. "It's going to be something that parents need to be vigilant (about) especially when you're dealing with teenagers."
FBI Special Agent Barry Couch is assigned to a cyber taskforce in Rochester to apprehend sexual predators online. Couch says recently more appear to be gravitating from social networking websites to online gaming rooms.
"It does present challenges yes, but we are breaking through that realm,” Agent Couch said. “We've just now started to see the gaming systems breaking through as far as online predators and I'm talking about the last few months to a year or two."
Recently the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case of Angie Jenkins, 35, of Lowell, Michigan. Jenkins recently pled guilty in federal court after being accused of meeting a boy online while playing the game “World of Warcraft.”
"They took the relationship from online to offline,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Lee said of the Jenkins case. “To the point where the woman traveled from Michigan to Buffalo in order to engage in sexual activity with a 16yr old boy."
With more and more cases like these surfacing authorities want the online predators using these gaming sites to know one very important thing.
"I want them to know that we will find them period,” Agent Couch said. “It's just a matter of time before their number comes up and we will bring them to justice and let the public know who these people are."