A 27-year-old man, Darius Matylewich, is facing charges of kidnapping and child endangerment for allegedly luring an 11-year-old girl across state lines. This alarming incident unfolded as the result of their communication through online video games, according to authorities.
Matylewich’s arrest occurred on September 10, following the report of the child’s disappearance in Wayne, New Jersey, at 6:45 a.m., the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement last Thursday. Fortunately, the girl was located in Bear, Delaware. The statement also reveals that the alleged kidnapper was engaged in an online video game with the victim prior to the incident.
Matylewich chatted with the underage girl on multiple platforms
According to information from the prosecutor’s office, the girl and Matylewich were engaged in conversations across multiple gaming platforms, including Roblox, as reported by NBC New York and USA Today. Upon finding the girl in Bear, the police confirmed that she had allegedly been in contact with Matylewich through an online video game, as detailed in the official statement.
The 27-year-old man transported her across state lines to Delaware “without the knowledge or consent of her parents,” as noted by the prosecutors. Matylewich was subsequently arrested by Delaware Police Department authorities in Bear and later extradited to New Jersey, according to the statement.
— Wayne Police Department (@WaynePoliceNJ) October 12, 2023
Roblox claims the two individuals did not meet on their platform
Interestingly, Roblox conducted an internal investigation and determined that the two individuals did not meet on their platform, as reported by People. “We have not been contacted by law enforcement but we take the safety of our users, particularly our youngest users, incredibly seriously,” they said in a statement. “We have reached out to law enforcement and are offering our help.”
The statement added that the gaming platform is committed to tirelessly preventing grooming on our platform. Moreover, there are “thousands of moderators” that enforce community standard rules, “including zero tolerance for sexual content of any kind.”
Matylewich might face a 30-year sentence
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office has filed serious charges against Matylewich, including first-degree kidnapping and third-degree endangerment of a child. If he is convicted, he could face a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Matylewich, at this stage, has not entered a plea, but he has secured an attorney. The pretrial detention hearing, initially scheduled for Monday, was postponed at the request of the defense, as informed by the prosecutor’s office.