(Photo: Thomas Cheung (Twitter))
Following the discovery that a Twitch Partner and Hi-Rez Studios employee had been arrested, the game developer has released a statement. Thomas Cheung, a 32-year old resident of Georgia, was arrested as part of a child sex sting. Cheung was arrested alongside 20 other men during the conclusion of what was dubbed “Operation Interception.”
As the news made its way around both traditional and gaming media, Hi-Rez’s CEO and President Stewart Chisam released a statement on behalf of the game development company. Chisam reveals that the company learned of the arrest of one of its employees “through local news.” Although stating that the company “cannot comment on specifics of Mr. Cheung’s case,” he goes on to say that they can share that “Mr. Cheung is no longer employed by Hi-Rez Studios.”
— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 5, 2019
Writing as a parent, HiRezStew as he’s known on Twitter, said: “it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports.” He ends the statement by commending the law enforcement involved in the sting.
According to arrest records obtained by VPEsports Cheung was arrested for possessing computer electronic pornography, child exploitation, and computer child exploitation online, on January 30, 2019 and was booked at 4:09 p.m. Under the “Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007,” any person convicted of computer child exploitation shall be guilty of a felony and, “…shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years and by a fine of not more than $25,000.00; provided, however, that if at the time of the offense the victim was at least 14 years of age and the defendant was 18 years of age or younger, then the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
VPEsports previously reached out to both Hi-Rez and Twitch for comment regarding the situation and will update the story and as when we receive them.