FAYETTEVILLE, NC — Authorities in Cumberland County say that a Pine Forest High School student is facing nearly two dozen sex charges involving minors after a tip came in about activity on the social media website, Twitter.
Mark Steven Adair, age 17, of Riverwalk Place in Fayetteville, was arrested Wednesday on 23 charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. He is being held on a $1.3 million secured bond.
As a result of a tip provided to the State Bureau of Investigation from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to the SBI contacted the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit to commence an investigation, authorities said in a press release.
“The tip included information from the social media website, Twitter, regarding apparently illegal photos and language,” authorities say.
After obtaining the identity of the perpetrator and a physical address for the IP address on the computer which had been used to post the illegal images, Sheriff’s detectives applied for and obtained search warrants for the home and the computer of Adair, according to officials.
“Detectives seized computer equipment from Adair,” said Sean E. Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.
“A forensic examination was conducted on the seized computer equipment, which Adair was enticing minors over the web to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of the juveniles engaged in sex acts and sexual poses, and was engaged in exchanging with the minors videos and photographs of adults engaging in sex acts,” Swain added.
Adair was charged with 3 counts of 1st Degree Exploitation of a Minor, 10 counts of 2nd Degree Exploitation of a Minor, and 10 counts of 3rd Degree Exploitation of a Minor.
The Magistrate gave Adair a modified bond to allow his parents to sign him out with the stipulation he would be in court for the first appearance two hours later.
At Adair’s first appearance before a District Court judge, Judge Lou Olivera who presided set Adair’s bond at $1.3 million secured after considering the summary of the evidence presented at that time.
The State Bureau Of investigation and the Sheriff’s Office are a part of a national task force on cybercrime.