Michigan Woman Charged for Alleged Sexual Obsession Over 11-Year-Old She Met on Xbox Live
07/23/2015 AT 01:50 PM EDT
The alleged relationship took place over two years and spanned the country.
Jessica Carlton, 44, is charged with two counts of second-degree attempting to lure or entice a child and 12 counts of third degree endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Union County Prosecutors Office.
The Michigan mother met the victim playing on Xbox Live, an online video game system, in May 2013, officials say.
For two years, Carlton used her son’s Xbox, while posing as a 13-year-old girl, to contact the victim. She and the victim played video games together before their relationship escalated to exchanging sexually explicit text messages and photographs, court documents reveal.
"It's extremely important for parents to understand that during the course of doing something that certainly might seem harmless – playing a video game online – their children could easily wind up meeting adults with dark intentions," Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park said in a press release.
The Grand Rapids woman kept two journals: one to "memorialize her sexual fantasies" and the other containing 'I love you' over and over again, a detective wrote in a search warrant affidavit.
Carlton apparently wrote, "I love you" in the journal nightly and on several occasions read excerpts of her sexual fantasies to the boy.
Local media reports that Carlton carved the boy's initials into the skin of her wrist, while court documents say Carlton appeared "nude during a live video chat" with the victim.
In December 2014, Carlton allegedly drove cross-country to New Jersey to see the victim, meeting him in a park and watching him perform in a school play.
During her visit, Carlton allegedly showered the victim with candy, clothes and posters before giving him a debit card and telling him to use it for whatever he wanted.
A joint investigation by the Union County Special Victims Unit and municipal police department began in early March after the victim’s mother found out about the inappropriate relationship. The victim’s mother told authorities she confronted Carlton over the phone after finding Carlton’s debit card in her son’s wallet.
When she learned her son and the 44-year-old were still communicating, she contacted local authorities.
"We urge parents to remain aware of their children's online activities and be vigilant about ensuring their safety," Prosecutor Park said.
On April 9 Carlton was arrested in Michigan and extradited to New Jersey where she was lodged in Union County Jail on a $225,000 bail.
She has been ordered not to have contact with the victim. The Union County Prosecutors Office reports the case is pending indictment.
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