Jess Cliffe, who developed and helped create Valve’s hallowed first person shooter game, Counter Strike, has been accused of sexually exploiting an underage girl. He was arrested on the first of February, and booked into the King County Jail at Seattle, Washington with his bail being set at nearly two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. As of now, he is charged with sexually exploiting a child. Did he do it? We’ll leave you to judge that for yourself, only telling you that part of what Cliffe is charged with is recording a video of one of his sexual encounters with the young girl… without her consent.
For those who don’t know his history, Jess Cliffe co-created Counter-Strike along with Minh Le, popularly known as ‘Gooseman’ while studying at Virginia Polytech. It was developed as a mod for Valve’s extremely popular FPS Half-Life. Valve acquired the game, and later hired Cliffe as a game designer for future releases of Counter-Strike.
Shocking details revealed
Details about the case are still not clear, due to its sensitive nature, and as the case is still under investigation. However, what information we have available has been confirmed by both legal teams. A court hearing to discuss his bail proceeded as per schedule on February the second.
It is believed that Cliffe met the victim on an adult dating site, where she was offered – and received – money to have sex with him on multiple occasions. His lawyer Zachary Wagnild maintains that his client was unaware of the victim’s real age, since they first interacted on a website meant for legal adults.
In other words, his lawyer is implying that since his client failed to recognize the fact that his victim was a minor when he first contacted her on the site, this somehow ensured that he continued to fail to recognize the extreme youth of his victim, even as he had sex with her, and paid her for it. We’ve all heard of people corrupting the youth, but this verges on the ridiculous. Prosecuting attorney Nyoka Maraire, representing King County Jail, requested that bail be set high at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
Cliffe’s history in alleged crime, and his bail hearing
Ironically enough, while he technically has no prior criminal history, Cliffe was accused of sexual assault in 2013. He pleaded not guilty in that case, was not charged with the crime, and the case was later dismissed.
He appeared for his first court hearing on February the second, to discuss his bail
Pro Tem Judge Rod Benjamin presided over this hearing, and felt – based on the details of the case – that Cliffe poses a potential risk to others. It is assumed that the Judge is concerned that Cliffe may target other minors, even while out on bail. Rejecting the plea by the defense to set aside the bail amount entirely, and immediately release Cliffe on bail, the judge instead reduced his bail to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. But, he upheld the request of the defense that media be banned from taking any pictures, or videotaping the hearing.
Furthermore, the Judge has also ordered that there should absolutely be no communication of any sort between Cliffe and the victim. Cliffe is due to appear in court again today, and we’ll post more information on the situation as it becomes available.
So what’s Jess Cliffe doing now?
At the time of this article’s writing, there is no information on whether or not Cliffe has manged to raise bail. No new details about the case or the victim have been released so far, though we expect further developments today. Valve, on the other hand has confirmed that Jess Cliffe has been suspended from their employ, and will remain so until further notice. Stay tuned. For fans of CS:GO, this scandal is nothing short of catastrophic, and we’ll keep you posted.