On August 26, 2019 a federal grand jury sitting in Charlotte, NC returned a 21-count superseding indictment against Frank Cromwell, 23. Frank is charged with enticement of a minor, production of child pornography, communicating threats, cyber stalking, and related offenses.
According to allegations contained in the charging documents, including a previously filed criminal complaint, as early as March 2018, Frank used a cell phone app and other means to contact and entice minor male victims to produce and send to Frank sexually explicit images and videos of themselves.
Court documents further allege that Frank misled the minors to believe that he was a female, by, among other things, using female names and images to entice the minors to produce and send to him child pornography, and to engage in sexual activity. To date, law enforcement have identified 10 victims. Frank met some of the victims through his Appalachian State University internship as an athletic trainer at Watauga High School.
Concerning the case U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray says:
“This individual allegedly tried to gain access to children by obtaining employment in places where he could embed himself with underage boys, including a high school, a summer camp, a middle school, and a behavioral healthcare facility. Protecting our children from predators is one of our highest priorities. I urge parents to have a conversation with their children about the dangers of online communications and social media, where predators can use fake names and profiles to weave a heinous web of lies to lure young and innocent children.”