GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS) – A Michigan woman is facing charges for allegedly using Xbox to foster an inappropriate relationship with an 11-year-old boy.
Jessica Carlton, 44, of Grand Rapids is charged with two counts of attempting to lure or entice a child and a dozen counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Investigators believe the alleged relationship began in May 2013, when they say the Grand Rapids woman contacted the then 11-year-old boy through Xbox Live. Authorities say the two would play video games together online. Eventually, investigators say the relationship took a turn, and Carlton and the boy shared sexually explicit phone conversations and began exchanging lewd photos and text messages. Prosecutors say Carlton also gave the boy clothes, debit cards and jewelry.
Prosecutors say in December 2014, Carlton traveled from Michigan to Union County, New Jersey to meet the boy in person. She was arrested in Michigan on April 9 and extradited to New Jersey, where she is facing charges. A judge has ordered she not have any contact with the boy.
In a news release obtained by 6 News, Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park says the case serves as a warning to all parents:
“It’s extremely important for parents to understand that during the course of doing something that certainly might seem harmless – playing a video game online – their children could easily wind up meeting adults with dark intentions. We urge parents to remain aware of their children’s online activities and be vigilant about ensuring their safety.”