United States – Trapped by amateur vigilantes, Sony executive fired

Posted7 December 2021, 13:42

Vice-president of engineering for the PlayStation, the 60-year-old was surprised outside his home appearing to be awaiting a visit from a 15-year-old teenager. It was a decoy.

Screen capture from the video made public by the group “People v. Preds’

Instagram/People v. Preds

A senior executive at Sony Interactive Entertainment, the division that oversees the Japanese group’s PlayStation activities, has been fired after being trapped in California by a group of amateur anti-pedophile vigilantes, reports cnet.com.

George C., 64, allegedly tried to arrange a meeting with a 15-year-old boy, according to a video posted by the YouTube channel “People v. Preds ”. The man has worked at Sony for more than eight years, according to his LinkedIn profile, and most recently served as senior vice president of engineering.

“We have been made aware of the situation and the employee in question has been terminated,” Sony told CNET on Sunday.

Open investigation

The executive has so far declined to comment. He has not been charged in criminal proceedings but an investigation is open. It is led by the “San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).

The amateur group “People v. Preds ”is made up of individuals whose objective is to trap sexual predators who operate online. The method chosen for the case of the Sony executive was to impersonate a 15-year-old teenager who was willing to have sex and organize a meeting at the predator’s home. A meeting at 4:30 in the morning had been arranged. But it was not a consenting teenager who went to the executive’s home but a cameraman who surprised the man appearing to be waiting outside the front door of his California home wearing a black t-shirt bearing the “PlayStation” brand. 5 ”.

Viral video

Arrested, the 60-year-old hastened to take refuge behind his door while the cameraman threatened to call the police if he refused to answer his questions. Posted on social networks, the video quickly went viral.

CNET claims to have read the exchanges on Grindr, a dating app for gays, bi, trans and queers, between the luring teenager and the alleged predator who masked his identity behind the first name “Jeff”. There would also have been an exchange of explicit photos. Jeff would have finally agreed or instigated a meeting and given his address.

Now stripped of his prestigious position at Sony, the 60-year-old risks having to answer to justice once the conclusions of the investigation have been rendered. The case also raises a debate on the relevance of making public an accusing video before the conclusion of the said investigation.

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