Seattle police have officially charged Counter-Strike co-creator Jess Cliffe with commercial sexual abuse of a minor, as detailed in a police report. Cliffe is accused of paying a 16-year-old girl for sex and for recording a sexual encounter the two had against her will.
Cliffe was arrested last week as part of an investigation by the King County Sheriff's Office for sexual exploitation of a child. A case that dates back to May 2017. Cliffe was released on bail for $150,000.
The investigation began after police started talking to the girl, identified in the criminal reports as "AC," her initials. AC told the police that she had sex with Cliffe at least three times between April and June of 2017 while she was 16. She says Cliffe paid her $300 per hour during their encounters. It was on one of these occasions that Cliffe filmed the two of them together against her will.
AC told police that she couldn't protest Cliffe filming her "out of fear that she could be harmed or killed based on her small size and accounts of other people who had been violently assaulted during a prostitution date."
Cliffe's lawyer, Zachary Wagnild, confirmed (as reported by Ars Technica) the two had sex, but that Cliffe did not know she was underage. "Even if the facts are true as claimed, this was a meeting on an adult website," said Wagnild. "He was not looking for underage women and had no idea this woman was underage."
AC told the police that she "could not be certain he was aware of her true age of 16 years." Washington State law classifies "commercial sexual abuse of a minor" as a crime "anything of value" is provided to a minor in exchange for sex, regardless of whether the minor consents.
Cliffe admits to compensating several "dates" for a monetary amount for "her time," across several dating websites.
Cliffe is currently suspended from Valve after news of his arrest broke last week.