A Hi-Rez staffer has been arrested for alleged solicitation of sex with a minor in major sting op

    
69

Didn’t expect to be catching this post tonight: Apparently a Hi-Rez employee has been arrested along with 20 other men accused of soliciting sex with a minor on dating websites and social media. The arrests follow a sting that was part of a multi-month multi-bureau undercover investigation in Georgia dubbed “Operation Interception.”

The Hi-Rez employee is identified now on the GBI website and in the local news reports as “Thomas Cheung, A/M, Alpharetta, GA, 32, gaming studio employee.” Based on the description and photograph, it appears to be Hi-Rez Community Specialist Elvine. He’s also a popular Twitch streamer (though the account’s been nuked) and was once well-known in the World of Warcraft community as Elvinelol.

VPEsports reports that according to the police record, “Cheung was arrested for possessing computer electronic pornography, child exploitation, and computer child exploitation online, on January 30, 2019.” The specific charge was lodged as “use computer service to seduce, solicit, lure or entice child to commit illegal act – felony.”

What did I just type? All of you, just close your browsers and go to sleep.

Update Feb 5, 8 a.m. EST
Apparently he worked at CCP Games of EVE Online fame a few years ago. CCP put out a statement on Twitter: “We at CCP Games are shocked and appalled to hear the news regarding Thomas Cheung, who worked with us as a VR Community contractor from Jan – Nov 2017. We consider this behaviour to be completely abhorrent and are reassured that the authorities have taken the appropriate action.”
Update Feb 5, 10:45 a.m. EST
Hi-Rez’s Stewart Chisam addressed the situation, declining to comment on specifics but noting that Cheung is “no longer employed” by Hi-Rez.

He also made what appears to be a personal donation to an anti-trafficking group late last night.

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
K38FishTacos
Reader
K38FishTacos

I heard pedos don’t do too well in prison.

Reader
Dankey Kang

I’m sure he’ll have a whale of a time.

VNAIL
Reader
VNAIL

I first bumped into this guy when he was moderating the crowfall forums. There was something really off/creepy about him, but sometimes games attract those with limited experience socializing so I didn’t worry too much about it.

He was obviously breaking the law and should not have acted this way, I also think it is harder for people with these kinds of issues to get the proper help because people react in such an extreme way to their sickness.

I’d rather see society get to a place where people that are sick like this feel comfortable enough to seek help without being branded, than let it get to a point where they are actively trying to act on it.

I also think we need to get rid of the whole loli element that we see in so many eastern mmorpgs, it’s simply not a healthy thing to expose people to over and over.

Reader
Akagi

Having sex with infantsis wrong.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

One less potential predator on the internet and streets. I think we’ll put this firmly in the win column.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Wait…Elvinelol seems familiar, I could have sworn I saw that name pop up recently, wonder if it was related to this. Either way, super duper ridiculously gross, and I’m glad those gross people are arrested.

Reader
Zora

Eeeep that’s one of the reasons I am always been mighty wary of online communities’ meet-and-greet events, the chance someone who felt just a little creepy ingame before even knowing you are a girl is actually more than just a little creepy once you meet

Ugly stuff

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

According to a lot of female streamers who have met him at various events – Blizzcon, Twitchcon, the annual St. Jude fundraiser where they actually fly out Twitch streamers to their hospital (yeah think about that one for a second…) – he was extra creepy if he knew you were a girl.

Apparently he’d been told off on more than one occasion about really weird advances, trying to get girls to drink around him but refusing to drink himself, etc.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Kherova

Sadly we are still living in a time and age that tolerates such behavior.

Reader
Arktouros

It’s an ugly world out there

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Kherova

Just checked and I was still following him from the old WOW days. Quickly unfollowed and blocked the account. Shudder….

Although, on second thoughts: are these just allegations and has anything been verifed? Anyway bad story that leaves a stain on the gaming community.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

No trial, just arrests.

As much as I detest pedophiles, I also think that theu should never be releasing the accused nanes to the public until they have a conviction.

“Guilty until proven innocent” has become the norm in America.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

Yes I’m sure his computer was filled with child porn for some innocent reason, and um, it was hit cat trying to lure underage girls to have sex using his PC.

Anyway they just said what he was arrested for, that they do for everybody that gets arrested. Names are released in arrests.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

Just because he is a dirt bag doesn’t mean he isn’t due to a fair trial … And there is no way in hell he is going to get one now.

Reader
Frank White

Doubtful it will go to trial. In the United States something like 98% of felony cases are settled by plea bargain. So many laws are written so broadly that law enforcement and prosecutors can hit you with a kitchen sink full of charges, so in the end it feels like you’re getting a “deal” when they offer to drop at least half of them for a guilty plea.

Reader
Leiloni

They typically don’t let people on juries for people they know/are aware of, and they’ll ask questions about who knows of SMITE and other games he’s been involved with. They have a screening process for exactly this reason.

That being said, it sounds like the evidence will speak for itself. This is the culmination of a months long investigation and several agencies involved. He didn’t just get “unlucky” and attend the wrong party one day.

Reader
Frank White

I didn’t see that he was being charged with child porn. “Electronic pornography” could be Hentai with underage looking characters (not sure what the GA law is on this) or bestiality or simulated rape or whatever. I don’t know, but it seems like he would have been explicitly charged with possession of CP if he had it. Maybe that’s still to come. Also, it doesn’t say how old he believed the minor to be who he was communicating with, but I’m guessing she or he must have been pretending to be under 16, since that’s the age of consent in Georgia. Might be some interstate laws involved , though, depending on where the minor was (supposedly) located. Which I’m only mentioning because it probably WILL matter to his fellow inmates once he gets locked up. ;)

Reader
Eliandal

This is, unfortunately, true. Even if found not guilty, his life is effectively over!

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

“Guilty until proven innocent” has become the norm in America.

Not really? Sure in the “court” of public* opinion, but that’s not the law. And “innocent until proven guilty” has always been specific to law, not opinion.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

The court of social opinion was bad enough when it was confined to small towns or just a single neighborhood in a city, but now it is world wide.

You could wake up tomorrow morning to a fabricated Rape accusation & by that night they could be talking about you on the news in Paris, the next day you will hear that Iran is saying you are a champion of male dominance, and the day after that you will find out that Japan has already turned you into an Anime Meme.

… And no matter definitively you prove your innocence, half the world will still call you a Rapist for the rest of your life.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Twitter boyz are already at his throat.