Counter-Strike co-creator Jess Cliffe has been arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a child. As of now, there is no more information from the police.
Valve suspends Cliffe
Cliffe, 36, who has been working at Valve since 2003, has now been suspended, a company spokesperson told Kotaku.
“We are still learning details of what actually happened,” Valve said. “Reports suggest he has been arrested for a felony offence. As such we have suspended his employment until we know more.”
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As per the Washington State Legislature, sexual exploitation of a child includes elements of commercial sexual abuse of a minor or “depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit content,” such as creation, distribution or possession of depictions of child pornography, according to ESPN.
According to the arrest record obtained by Kotaku, Cliffe was arrested 1:17 a.m. PT on Thursday and was denied bail. A Seattle news site, KIRO 7, states that Cliffe has not been charged with any crime at this time. Cliffe does not have a criminal history. A court hearing for the case is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Counter-Strike – a massively popular game
Cliffe worked along side Minh Le on Counter-Strike to create one of the most popular titles ever. Counter-Strike is a first person shooter game, where players need to counter terrorism to prevent a terrorist act. The game is available both for computers and video game consoles. Cliffe has also lent his voice to the game, with phrases like “bomb planted”, “terrorists win” etc.
The latest version of the game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is among the most popular games on Steam. The original Counter Strike came out in 2000. Besides Counter-Strike, Cliffe has also worked on Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2, Left4Dead2 and Portal2, according to his Valve bio.
Cliffe is a native of West Seattle and works in Bellevue. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Science Management. Cliffe, a hobby photographer, posted pictures on his hobby site VintageSeattle.org until 2012, notes KIRO 7.
Following Cliffe’s arrest, strong responses are pouring in from the community.
A user by the name of Funketrain wrote in a Kotaku Feed: “It’s good to see stories like this come out. It shows no one is invincible.”
Further, the user noted that though it is sad to hear prominent people getting involved in such issues, cases like this keeps the industry responsible and establishes the fact that money and power cannot help you escape forever.
Another incident of sexual exploitation
In a similar incident, Christopher J. Dionne, the well-known TV host was arrested on Monday for molesting a 10-year-old girl. The host of the 2015 HGTV show, Family Flip, was booked for fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. Dionne has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been held on a bond of $100,000, according to IB Times.
The victim happens to be Dionne’s daughter’s friend, who went for a sleepover in November last year and later complained about Dionne touching her inappropriately. The girl, whose identity has been kept secret, stated that Dionne told her not to disclose matters to anyone.