WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. — A man was arrested in Washington County for allegedly sexually assaulting an 11-year-old for more than a year in exchange for in-game currency in the online game Fortnite.
According to the criminal complaint, Detective James Jeffrey from South Fayette Police Department was conducting an investigation into Ryan Wolstoncroft, a former resident of South Fayette now living in Cecil. The investigation was regarding a molestation involving two victims from 20 years ago.
The complaint stated that Detective Jeffrey interviewed the mother of a recent victim.
According to the complaint, when the interviewer asked the victim why he was there, he replied, “someone hurt me in a bad way.” He went on to describe what he explained as a daily occurrence, starting in the living room when Wolstoncroft was tickling him and reached down into his pants.
The victim said in the complaint that he tried to make Wolstoncroft stop but he wouldn’t. The victim said he was also told not to tell anyone.
According to the complaint, the occurrences progressed to events that the victim said he didn’t want to talk about.
The victim said that in exchange for continuing the abuse, Wolstoncroft would buy the victim V-Bucks, the in-game currency for Fortnite.
The complaint said that as the abuse continued, the victim would stay over at Wolstoncroft’s house on a weekly basis, with the last time being in November 2021.
South Fayette Police Chief John Phoennik told Channel 11 that within the last two weeks, a mandated reporter had called in to say that her son had come forward claiming that he was fondled by Wolstoncroft 20 years ago. Police launched an investigation and found one other victim with a similar story.
Police said that interviews determined Wolstoncroft met both of these victims at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Bridgeville. According to the criminal complaint, the most recent victim and his mother attended the same church.
Chief Phoennik also said that there were situations at the time where Wolstoncroft would babysit the two victims but the police don’t believe any of the acts happened at the church itself.
Channel 11 received the following statement from Bethany Presbyterian Church:
Bethany Presbyterian Church is devastated by the news, and we are fully cooperating with the authorities. Our Pastors, Staff and Leadership ask that you share in our prayers and support for the families and friends of all involved. Bethany Presbyterian Church is focused on being a place of healing and reconciliation for our congregation and the entire community.
Wolstoncroft is currently being held with Washington County Prison and he is facing multiple charges including sexual assault, indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age, corruption of minors, among others.
Chief Phoennik said he plans to meet with the District Attorney next week and will likely file those charges then.
©2022 Cox Media Group