US carpet fitter, 38, flew 6,000 miles to sexually abuse 14-year-old British schoolgirl after grooming her through Clash of Clans online game
- American father-of-two David Telles jailed for six years for grooming the girl
- The widower had two teenage children of his own aged 14 and 16 years
- He targeted the vulnerable teen over the web game’s private chat facility
- The 38-year-old carpet fitter brainwashed the girl into running away with him
- She left parents note saying ‘I am gone. I will be back, I love you’
- Judge says he groomed teen to the point she would not object to abduction
Father-of-two David Telles, 38, was jailed for six years at Exeter Crown Court after he flew 6,000 miles to sexually abuse a 14-year-old schoolgirl he groomed through online game Clash of Clans
A US paedophile who jetted across the Atlantic to sexually abuse a British teenager he seduced in a cult online game was behind bars today.
Widower David Telles,38, posed as a schoolboy to target the impressionable 14-year-old as she played Clash of Clans on the internet.
The father-of-two brainwashed the girl, who was 24 years his junior, into thinking she was in love before convincing her to runaway with him.
When they were found the child was even wearing an engagement ring the carpet fitter had given her.
A judge sitting at Exeter Crown Court jailed Telles for six years after he admitted meeting a child following sexual grooming, abducting a child between June 14 and 18, three offences of sexual activity with a child, and engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a child.
Adrian Chaplin, prosecuting, said Telles made contact with the girl online through the internet game Clash of Clans, which has a facility for players to chat privately with each other.
At first he posed as a boy of about her age and they started exchanging phone calls in which they quickly became closer, each telling the other they loved them.
Telles eventually revealed he was a 38-year-old widower with two teenage children of his own but by then the girl was infatuated by his attention and replied ‘age is just a number’.
Mr Chaplin said Telles knew the girl’s true age and must have known she was vulnerable because she told him she was unhappy at school. She was also self harming.
Exeter Crown Court was told the carpet fitter travelled 6,000 miles from his home in California to Heathrow and hired a car to drive to Cornwall where he picked her up the teenager.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, fled her family home in the middle of the night with some clothes and her passport after climbing out of her bedroom window.
Mr Chaplin said: ‘The girl’s parents thought she was in bed but the next morning found a note which said ‘I am gone. I will be back, I love you’.
Telles and the girl stayed together at hotels in Cornwall and Exeter, Devon, for two nights before her family and the police tracked them down.
‘Inquiries with her mobile phone company showed a large number of calls to a number in America,’ said the prosecutor.
The father and the police called the number and spoke to Telles and the girl and eventually persuaded him to meet them at pub car park where he was arrested in a major police operation involving the force helicopter.
The girl at first denied there had been any sexual acts between them.
It took two months before the girl got over her infatuation and told the police the truth.
She also revealed he had put pressure on her to keep quiet, telling her she would ruin his life and he might die in jail.
She also told police Telles had asked her to take her passport with her when she climbed out of her window in the dead of night and met him in his hired car at the end of the road.
Joss Ticehurst, defending, said Telles of of Pleasanton, California, was likely to face more charges when he is deported back to the US at the end of his sentence.
He will lose his business, will be banned from living near any school and has already lost contact with his own children aged 14 and 16.
He said there was no element of force or coercion in either the abduction or the sexual acts which followed and Telles had been traced and arrested because he cooperated with the police and the girl’s parents.
David Telles, 38, who had two teenage children, groomed the girl through online game Clash of Clans
He said: ‘The girl knew he was 38. She packed a bag and went to his car. It was not some snatching of a girl against her will. She had access to his phone and could have used it on many occasions when she was alone.
‘On one occasion they went to a filling station and she had a conversation on her own with the attendant in which she was said to be chatty, relaxed and happy.
David Telles,38, travelled 6,000 miles from his home in California after grooming the 14-year-old British schoolgirl
‘She could have raised the alarm. He was not keeping her away from people so she could not tell.’
He was jailed for six years by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, who told him: ‘The girl wanted to be with you because you had groomed her to the point where she was not going to object to being abducted.
‘You asked her to bring her passport with her and it wasn’t as if she needed that to get from Cornwall to England.
‘You are a widower with teenaged children and you made contact with a 14-year-old girl in Cornwall through a computer game.
WHAT IS CLASH OF CLANS?
Clash of Clans is a combat strategy game that challenges players to build and defend their own village.
Thousands of gamers across the world play the online game that was created by Supercell and is available free on iTunes.
‘She initially thought you were the same age as her and you persuaded her in phone calls you loved her and she believed she was in love with you.
‘You knew her true age before you came to England and she knew yours. When police found her she was wearing an engagement ring you had given her.
‘She did not make a full disclosure in her first interview because you told her it would ruin your life and you might die in prison. Just imagine the pressure that put on a young girl who thought she was in love with you.
‘You told the probation report writer it was all down to her and she had seduced you and led you into all the sexual activity. I reject that. In the light of your age and hers, it amounts to no mitigation whatsoever.’
American carpet fitter David Telles, 38, was starting a six year prison sentence for grooming the girl over Clash of Clans
Detective Inspector Andrea Kingdon said: ‘Police take this type of crime very seriously and highlights to those using the internet for criminal activities, that there are no boundaries to an investigation.
‘Cases of this type once again show the importance of people knowing who they are communicating with on the internet. It is important to realise that if you have never met the person you are communicating with, that they could be a different age, sex or profession than they are claiming to be.
‘While people often embellish harmless details about themselves, there are those who may lie for a more sinister reason. This does not only happen to young people, as adults can be taken in by such lies.’