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Sep 1, 2014

15 year-old boy gets sentenced to 25 years to life in federal prison

Gamers take notice. Your young age will not save you under the 2001 Patriot Act. A 15 year-old was sentenced this week to 25 years to life in prison following two convictions for domestic terrorism. A gamer fad called “Swatting” has become more and more frequent, putting the lives of these kids and their families in danger.

Swatting is a gamer term used to describe the actions that gamers take against other gamers. These gamers find out the ip address of the rival gamers, they can then gain personal information about that gamer, including the name and residential address of the rival gamer. Then, an anonymous threat is called into the local PD such as a threat of murder, kidnapping, etc. and the local Swat team is called in to deal with the situation.

In young Mr. Paul Horner’s case, he “Swatted” his rival and the SWAT team rushed in. The rival gamer’s father was shot and put in critical condition. Of course it goes without saying that neither the rival gamer or his father had committed any crimes.

This type of behavior is becoming more and more commonplace and law enforcement AND prosecutors are taking this very seriously. In Mr. Horner’s case, his age didn’t save him from prosecution as the 2001 Patriot Act has an exception that allows the child to be prosecuted as an adult.

What a sad, sad situation for everyone involved. The lesson to be learned here is that parents should absolutely be monitoring their kid’s internet and gaming usage as well as educating them about the consequences of certain actions.



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