Frank Cromwell.jpg

Frank Cromwell 

After a Boone man was recently indicted on child pornography charges, the Boone Police Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office are looking to identify more possible victims, according to a press release from the Western Carolina District of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A federal grand jury returned a 21-count superseding indictment against 23-year-old Frank Cromwell on Monday.

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray.

According to the release, Cromwell is charged with nine counts of production of child pornography, four counts of distribution and receipt/attempted receipt of child pornography, three counts of enticement of a minor, two counts of cyberstalking, interstate communication, advertising of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

To date, law enforcement has identified 10 victims, the release states. Court documents say Cromwell met some of these victims through his Appalachian State University internship as an athletic trainer at Watauga High School.

Cromwell is accused of using a cell phone app and other means to convince minor male victims to produce and send him sexually explicit images and videos of themselves, the release states. Court documents say Cromwell misled the minors to believe he was female by using female names and images to entice the minors to produce and send him child pornography and to engage in sexual activity.

Cromwell is thought to have used the following nicknames online and on social media to contact his victims: Savannah, princesssav222, lickmeup5020, Sav, frankie5020, Lauren, Sydney, Sarah, Lily, Kaylee and Stephanie.

Contact the Boone Police Department if you or someone you know may have been a victim or have information related to the case at 828-268-6938.

Cromwell is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine per count.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations assisted the Boone Police Department in their investigation.

“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,” Murray said.

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