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So you meet a great girl in an MMO, and you build up quite the relationship. You start chatting online, not just in the game, and as your characters get married, you decide it might be time to consummate the relationship.
You drive a few states over to visit your online girlfriend, and really hit it off. You give her a cell phone so she can call you, and you have sex a number of times - in a motel, in your van, and at her house.
It happens all the time, and there's nothing really wrong with it ...unless the girl in question is 13-years old.
John W. Phillips, 54, is currently facing a total of eleven felonies, just for meeting up with the online girl of his dreams. He's been charged with accosting a child for immoral purposes, sexual assault, child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to communicate with another person to commit a crime.
He met the 13-year old Detroit girl online last year playing RuneScape, and their in-game relationship progressed quickly, as sheriff's corporal Ray Johnson explains:
"Maybe he thought that was legitimate in real life. It's not."
The girl's mother - who works multiple jobs and was not home for long periods of time - started to realise something was going on when she caught her daughter exchanging text messages with someone. The teenager wasn't meant to have a cell phone.
Phillips allegedly "didn't want to come back to Michigan and face charges", says Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, who descriped how the felon visited his father in upstate New York, dyed his hair and cut his beard to avoid capture. Eventually, he was arrested in New York and extradited to Detroit.
While he has no criminal record, Phillips' only source of income appears to be selling Magic: The Gathering game cards, so he still might not be ideal husband material, ingame or otherwise.
The 13-year old alleged victim is apparently traumatised by the affair, and is currently undergoing counselling. Michigan State Police Lt. Tom Kish urges parents to be aware of their children's online activities:
"It is easy for children to be contacted in nontraditional ways. Internet use has to be monitored."
Source: The Detroit News