Did a DS help save a girl from child abuse?

I knew that the Ninteno DS was quite useful for doing things like playing games and helping me make oyakodon, but fighting child abuse? That’s wasn’t on the back of the box.

The Ayr Advertiser reports that Arthur McFarlane, 42, had been abusing a young girl for nearly a year and a half, between January 2007 and July 2008. That was when the girl sent her friend a message via the DS during a play session, complaining that McFarlane had been touching her.

The friend told her mother about the incident, though the crimes were only reported to the police nearly five months later. McFarlane admitted to “lewd, indecent and libidinous behavior” last Friday, November 6th.

While all seems to have ended well, the report leaves me with two questions:

  1. Assuming the arrests happened recently (the article doesn’t say), why did it take the police nearly a year to act on the initial reports? For that matter, why didn’t the friend’s mother take action only after five months?
  2. What program were the two girls using? The only DS game I know with message-sending functions is built-in Pictochat.


Josh Tolentino
When not posting about Japanese games or Star Trek, Josh served as Managing Editor for Japanator. Now he mostly writes for Destructoid's buddies at Siliconera, but pops back in on occasion.