A 44 year-old Michigan woman has been arrested after she met an 11 year-old boy on Xbox Live and began a disturbing two year long distance relationship with him.
Jessica Carlton of Grand Rapids, Michigan was arrested this spring after she was caught sending the Union County, New Jersey boy sexual texts and nude photos of herself. According to Daily Mail, she wrote two journals dedicated to the unnamed boy. The first was full of her sexual fantasies for him, and in the second she wrote “I love you” daily to him.
Court documents reveal that the boy began communicating with Carlton in May of 2013 after first using Xbox Live to talk to her son. Though Carlton was aware that the boy was only 11, the relationship quickly crossed the line. Months into their communications, they were exchanging nude pictures and engaging in nude video chats. She sent the boy jewelry, candy, and clothes as gifts, sending them to his friend’s house so that his parents wouldn’t find out.
Their relationship continued even after the boy began dating a middle school girl, and Carlton drove to New Jersey in December of 2014 to see him in a school play. There, she met with the boy and his girlfriend in the parking lot, where she gave them gifts like posters, candy, and clothes.
Carlton was caught after she gave the boy a debit card and told him he could buy whatever he wants. After his mom found the debit card, she immediately called the police. Investigators were disturbed to find that Carlton had cut the boy’s initials into her wrist and that she had created a collage of the boy’s childhood photos.
Carlton was arrested in April and extricated to New Jersey, where she is currently being held on $175,000 bail. She is currently facing two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and 12 counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of the child.
Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park has told parents that this should serve as a warning to them to monitor their children’s internet use.
“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,” Park said. “We urge parents to remain aware of their children’s online activities and be vigilant about ensuring their safety.”
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