An investigation sparked by alarming chats between a British teenager and an online acquaintance in the US may have prevented the rape of a small child in North Carolina.
The 17-year-old girl, who has been involved in a “virtual sex” relationship with 19-year-old James Carroll since she was 14, reported the rape threats to police after Carroll disclosed plans to sexually assault a 5-year-old child when babysitting for a family friend. In the investigation, police uncovered explicit child pornography on Carroll’s computer. The teen girl contacted law enforcement in Britain, who in turn notified the U.S. Department of Justice, ultimately resulting in intervention from local police in Cary, North Carolina.
The teen, who met Carroll in a gaming chat room several years ago, admitted to a relationship with Carroll but did not hesitate to report him when the line was crossed:
But when Carroll started “acting weird,” according to the teen’s statement to police, she became concerned.
“Basically, this guy is telling me he’s going to have sex with an innocent 5-year-old girl that he babysat last night,” the teen’s statement reads. “He said he [was babysitting] with a friend so he couldn’t do anything. However, on Saturday night, he says he will babysit her alone, so he can have sex with her.”
Carroll had allegedly planned the assault for February 27th, just two days after he was apprehended.