Counter-Strike co-creator officially charged with “commercial sexual abuse of a minor”

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You may have heard last week that one of the co-creators of Counter-Strike, Jess Cliffe, had been booked (but not charged) with sexual exploitation of a minor.

He’s now been officially charged. The 36-year-old game developer and Valve Software staffer Cliffe is now accused and charged with multiple instances of sexual contact with a minor – including videotaping one of those encounters without her consent.

The details around the incident become legally murky. According to the Seattle Police, the 16-year old victim says she used the website to “meet with men who offered to pay her money to have sex with her.” The offences allegedly took place last year, which would likely make it statutory rape, whether there was consent or not.

Cliffe denied knowing the victim at all, but did confirm that he used multiple websites to arrange for sometimes paid “dates” with women. When presented with chat logs from his accounts to the victim, Cliffe said he “was unable to recall or connect the communications or any other recollections to photographs” of her. He also denies knowing the victim’s age, saying in his statement that the alleged victim “appeared to be 23 years old” when presented with photographs of her.

While the girl here is not blameless, it hardly matters. For starts, prostitution isn’t legal in Seattle, and neither is filming sex with somebody without their consent.

Read  Valve is now letting sexually explicit games on Steam

For their part, Valve has suspended Cliffe’s employment pending further investigation. Cliffe is currently out of jail after posting bail of $150 000. His next hearing is set for February 25.

Last Updated: February 6, 2018

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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