American flies to England to sexually abuse, marry teen girl

A California man was sentenced Tuesday to more than 25 years in federal prison for flying to England and sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in 2014.

According to a statement issued by Northern District of California’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, David John Telles, Jr., 43, used his phone, an online game, and social media app to entice and “groom” the victim, who he told was his girlfriend and that he wanted to marry. After weeks of correspondence, Telles, then 38, traveled to England and met the victim at two hotels—where he sexually abused her over a two-day period.

Authorities said police from the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in England apprehended Telles and rescued the 14-year-old. The Mercury News reported that the girl told police that Telles had forced himself on her.

Telles has been federal custody since October 2016, and was convicted last fall of online enticement of a minor, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.

Federal authorities accused Telles of exaggerating his mental illness to get a mistrial. The news outlet reported that “pretended to be unconscious” after the victim took the stand, prompting jurors to be removed from the courtroom.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White ordered Telles to serve 15 years of supervised release after completing his prison sentence. He’s also required to register as a sex offender.

“This and similar investigations illustrate that people like Telles really exist and target our most vulnerable members of society,” Special Agent in Charge Ryan Spradlin said in the statement.  “While kids may seek to locate imaginative monsters under their beds, we need parents to assist us with educating their children about the real monsters that are using the internet to enter their rooms through smart phones, tablets, and laptops.”

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[Featured image: David John Telles Jr./Handout]