Content note: This report features mentions of paedophilia, sexual content.
A senior PlayStation executive has been fired from Sony after an amateur sting operation has allegedly provided evidene that he was attempting to engage in sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy (via GamesIndustry.biz).
YouTube channel People v. Preds, which sets up stings to catch alleged predators in action, posted a video that seems to show George Cacioppo – previously senior vice president of engineering for PlayStation Network that had been with the company for more than eight years – waiting to meet with a 15-year-old, allegedly for sexual reasons.
The organisers of the People v. Preds channel posed as a 15-year-old boy and connected with Cacioppo who agreed to meet with the fictional minor. Apparently, beforehand, the ex-Sony exec had shared inappropriate pictures and engaged in conversations of a sexual nature on the dating app, Grindr.
The exec is seen wearing a PlayStation 5 shirt in the video. The video on its own does not show any crimes being committed, and cannot be used to verify Cacioppo’s identity alone. But People v. Preds have also posted screenshots that alledge Cacioppo’s planning of the meet-up, in which the same shirt is shown.
“We are aware of the situation and the employee in question has been terminated from employment,” Sony said in a statement to CNET on Sunday.
A representative from People v. Preds has said to Kotaku “the police department doesn’t work with ‘Cyber groups’ like us. That’s when the internet takes over,” and as such there apparently hasn’t been any converstaions with the police about this case at the time of writing.