Counter-Strike co-creator Jess Cliffe was booked in Seattle on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child last week. Now, according to a report from local news site KIRO 7, prosecutors have charged the man with paying for sex with a minor in 2017 and, on one occasion, recording the encounter against her will.
Cliffe and the woman, referred to in the official police report as AC and now aged 16, reportedly met on the website SeekingArrangement.com. She told police that she spoke with Cliffe, 36, on Snapchat and through text messages.
AC told investigators that she met with Cliffe to have sex for money at least three times, reporting to authorities that she was paid $300 per hour. The last time they met up, AC says that Cliffe recorded parts of their encounter on video without her consent.
Authorities served a search warrant to SeekingArrangement.com to get a hold of Cliffe’s personal details, later speaking to him for questioning on the case.
According to Ars Technica, whose reporter Sam Machkovech attended court proceedings on Friday, Cliffe’s bail was set at $150,000. Prosecutors originally asked for bail to be set at $250,000.
Cliffe’s attorney, Zachary Wagnild, said in court that Cliffe “was not looking for underage women and had no idea this woman was underage.” Cliffe did not speak during the hearing, according to Ars Technica.
The presiding judge described him as a “risk to the community” based on the findings presented in court. Cliffe has been ordered not to have any contact with AC as part of a no-contact order that expires February 23. Valve has suspended him.
“We are still learning details of what actually happened,” a Valve spokesperson said. “Reports suggest he has been arrested for a felony offence. As such we have suspended his employment until we know more.”
Counter-Strike’s other creator was Minh Le. They created Counter-Strike in 1999, and it has gone on to become one of the most popular games on the planet. The newest version of the game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is among the most popular games on Steam. It had almost 600,000 peak concurrent players today, according to Valve’s public data.
You might not know Cliffe by name, but you may be familiar with his voice. He voiced the very famous voice line, “Counter-Terrorists Win!” in the original Counter-Strike. Cliffe also worked on Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Portal 2.