Pandemic Predators Update: Delaware County Man in Federal Custody

UPPER DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The wheels of justice are turning in the case of a Delaware County man accused of soliciting young boys online during the pandemic.

Geoffrey Hines made an initial appearance in federal court on charges of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture child pornography on Friday.

Federal authorities said his prey was boys playing video games online.

A startled mother, who didn't want to be identified, watched as her son played video games live online earlier this year.

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The Delaware County Internet Crimes Against Children task force said with more kids at home and online, predators are using it to their advantage.

She then captured a horrific sequence play out from another room: her son undressing.

"What are you doing!?" said the mother.

"I don't know," said the boy.

Authorities said the man talking to this child and on the hunt for sexual gratification was Geoffrey Hines of Upper Darby.

He is charged with 29 federal sex crime counts for manufacturing or attempting to manufacture child porn.

Authorities said Hines targeted minors in gaming rooms and offered money and gaming credits if they'd undress or perform sex acts.

He allegedly would secretly record them.

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Anthony Somerville says his son is one victim who was targeted.

"The guy wanted him to go into another room and take pictures of himself," he said.

The Delaware County Internet Crimes Against Children's Task Force initially began investigating Hines earlier this year.

Detective Sgt. Ken Bellis said Hines targeted victims around the world, even using an online translator if the minors didn't speak English.

"He was persistent. He may go after the child day after day after day."

Hines has been behind bars since May on state charges. But the feds have stiffer penalties.

A judge on Friday ordered him to be held in federal custody until trial.

You can see more of our in-depth report on this disturbing case on our 6abc streaming TV apps.
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