By Richard Lewis and Kevin Hitt
Thomas Cheung, a 32-year old resident of Georgia, was arrested during a child sex sting, which according to the report from 11Alive was conducted over a five-day period ending on Super Bowl Sunday. Cheung was arrested alongside 20 other men during 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.” The punishment, if convicted, of being in possession of child pornography depends an whether the crime is considered misdemeanor or felony, which is determined on various factors including the age of the child.
Any chance of the arrest being mistaken identity are removed as the agency named and provided mugshots of the arrestees. Listed was one “Thomas Cheung, A/M, Alpharetta, GA, 32, gaming studio employee” as well as his likeness.
DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said of the sting “we applaud this task force for its vigilance and proactive efforts to protect our children. Those who prey upon our most vulnerable population, must be held accountable for their actions. We will work quickly to file formal charges with the ultimate goal of prosecuting the accused individuals in the interest of justice for these egregious crimes.”
Cheung has had a long standing history in the online gaming scene having been a prominent member of the World of Warcraft community prior to his time in Hi-Rez, even promoting a site that helped connect people wanting to attend Activison Blizzard’s yearly expo Blizzcon. He is also a partnered Twitch streamer with over 34,000 followers.
VPEsports have reached out to both Hi-Rez and Twitch for comment on these developments and will update the story and as when we receive them.