US man faces jail over sex with girl, 13, he married in online computer game

London, Feb 10 (ANI): A man in the US is facing jail after he married a teenage girl in an online role-playing game and then had sex with her after meeting up with her.

John W Phillips, 54, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, has been accused of having sex with the 13-year-old Detroit girl on at least three occasions last year after they formed a relationship in the RuneScape multiplayer game.

The police revealed that Phillips and the Detroit girl "married" in the online role-playing platform and after he hand delivered a mobile phone to her in February last year, they had sex at a motel, in his van and at her home.

He was arrested in New York last month, and has been charged with 11 felonies including sexual assault, using a computer to communicate with another person to commit a crime, accosting a child for immoral purposes and child sexually abusive activity.

Several law enforcement agencies cooperated to arrange his extradition to Michigan and he will appear at a pre-trial hearing, with maximum sentences for the charges ranging from four to 20 years in prison.

According to Wayne County Sheriff's Corporal Ray Johnson, Phillips and the girl took part in a RuneScape marriage ceremony last year.

"They got married in the game. Maybe he thought that was legitimate in real life. It's not," the Daily Mail quoted Cpl Johnson as telling the Detroit News.

Police discovered the pair's relationship after the girl's mother found her exchanging text messages, even though she was not permitted to own a mobile phone.

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said Phillips had tried to post a phone to the girl and then brought it to her Detroit home in February last year.

Sheriff Napoleon said the alleged victim is undergoing counselling.

"This has been traumatic for her," he added. (ANI)

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