After having sexual conversations with a metro Atlanta boy through the popular video game Fortnite, a Pennsylvania man traveled to Hall County in the hopes of meeting him, sheriff’s office officials said Tuesday.
Gregory Mancini, 29, of Erie, Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged with attempt to commit child molestation and obscene internet contact with a child, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Authorities said Mancini talked with the 13-year-old over an Xbox headset while playing the game Fortnite.
“Over the course of several weeks, the two began to video chat, and the man turned the conversation to sexual subject matter,” the sheriff’s office said.
Mancini, reportedly a basketball coach at an all-boys Catholic prep school, allegedly told the Georgia boy he planned to travel to metro Atlanta and wanted to meet with him.
“Realizing the danger of the situation,” the 13-year-old told his mother about the situation, who notified law enforcement in late October, the statement said.
Detectives chatted with the man online while pretending to be the boy, according to the sheriff’s office. They set up a time and place to meet in southern Hall County earlier this month.
When he showed up, investigators identified Mancini as the man who had been talking to the boy and arrested him, officials said.
According to the Erie Times-News, Mancini had been an assistant coach for the junior varsity basketball team at Cathedral Preparatory School since 2012.
Due to the charges, Mancini is no longer affiliated with the school and was added to the Catholic Diocese of Erie’s list of people credibly accused of actions that disqualify them from working with children.
He also worked at the Barber National Institute as an acute behavioral health education teacher, the Times-News reported. The institute said it launched an internal investigation after the arrest.
Mancini was released from the Hall County Jail on a $16,900 bond Nov. 8.
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