Richard Kretovic, whose sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy inspired New York State's push to have all of its registered sex offenders permanently banned from Xbox Live and other major gaming services, was sentenced on Friday.
Kretovic, 20, only got six months in jail, but the larger punishment may be stripping his access to Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and other services. That's because Kretovic's mother says he has Asperger's Syndrome, so, I'm sure he'll take his lifetime permaban very well.
In early April, New York's attorney general announced the results of "Operation Game Over," in which the state worked with Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. and Disney Interactive Media Group to expunge accounts matching the e-mail addresses, physical addresses and other identifying information of more than 3,500 registered sex offenders in that state.
Kretovic's case was specifically cited by Eric Schneiderman, the state's attorney general, as motivation to ban sex offenders from online game services. Stories of predators abusing victims they met over online gaming networks have gotten wide publicity on local news and have been particularly concerning to parents and law enforcement.
"Operation Game Over" marked the first time New York State's sex offender registration laws had been applied to video games. Registrants are required to surrender e-mail addresses and internet screennames to the state, among other information.