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back to article Woman arrested for WoW love affair

An Australian woman is facing child abduction charges in the US after trying to bring her 17-year-old World of Warcraft boyfriend back to Oz. Tamara Broome, a 31-year-old university student, was arrested on June 26 after she flew from Adelaide to the boy's home in Greenville, North Carolina to pick up her internet beau. Broome …

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Anonymous Coward

Unreal

Typical US, apparently you can be arrested for kidnapping when you aren't and havent been, in company with the person who has been supposedly kidnapped.

Sounds very believable that this girl has been setup.

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Conspiracy to...

Kidnap is a crime if it can be proven that she was going to take him back to Australia. As he's a minor it makes little difference if he was going of his own free will, as the law is written at least.

Hopefully common sense will prevail and this won't even make it to court.

As for being a 31 university student and a WoW player I find the combination very hard to believe!!!

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It's a stretch to charge her

I'm guessing that they're using the North Carolina statutes at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByArticle/Chapter_14/Article_10.html, which say in part:

"§ 14‑41. Abduction of children.

(a) Any person who, without legal justification or defense, abducts or induces any minor child who is at least four years younger than the person to leave any person, agency, or institution lawfully entitled to the child's custody, placement, or care shall be guilty of a Class F felony."

Now, how are they going to say that the couple wasn't leaving "without legal justification"? Maybe his parents weren't happy about it, but these two were talking marriage. Had been talking for a year.

I'd say the charges are a bit of a stretch, and Ms. Broome should sue for false imprisonment and defamation of character.

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Tim

Crazy

I would say, it is typical US to scream death and murder while 2 people are in love. Where he 1 year older, no-one would care. Now, she faces 2 years, simply because he is 17.

But then, what can you expect from a country where (showing) sex is a bigger crime then (owning) guns.

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Silver badge

Re: Unreal

Actually the charge is "attempting to abduct", not actual abduction. Without seeing all the details of the case, it's impossible to say who is trying to set up who. Either of the two could have lied about their respective ages, so the argument of who set up who is limited to pure speculation until the facts come out.

What is interesting in this case is that it is now dealing with a FEMALE "paedophile" (albeit barely due to the boy's relatively advanced age). We hear all the time about MEN going after young girls (and sometimes boys) and these guys generally get put away for a sight more than two years, as well as being permanently on the sex-offender registry once they get out. It's easy to blame the boy and his family here since the alleged offender is a woman, and it will be interesting to see if there is any leniency granted in this case because of the alleged offender's sex, compared to the lengthy sentence a man would get in such a case.

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Very unreal

Nice jibe about the soulbound items :-P

What concerns me most is that It's not like this sort of thing doesn't go on all the time. my internet romance started when I was 17 (fortunately for her in the UK) it's just silly.

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That's because...

... she's obviously a very dangerous terrorist from the Eastern Kingdoms and as such must be stopped at all costs. She was surely going to fireball the entire North Carolina on a killing spree, after she had abducted and sacrificed her level 17 - pardon, 17-year-old boyfriend to get past a particularly nasty mob.

P.S. Americans are nuts. Sounds much like Minority Report - without the science-fiction.

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Anonymous Coward

17/31 spread

I dont know... A mage with 17/31 would make her a fire mage with boosted arcane. That would make her a fire cracker.

And for a warrior, 17/31 would give him a lot fury and stamina.

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I bet she was up for some ganking...

Correct me if i am wrong, but the article doesnt mention races...

Could that be a forbidden love of a troll and a gnome??? Who knows.... maybe the woman was up for some serious ganking / corpse camping after she had her fun with him ( anyone /spit??? )

On the other hand, if he was a succesful adventurer of deadmines maybe she was amazed by the sheer amount of blues he had aquired with his twinked character from the mighty Lord of the fearsome Defias Brotherhood.

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@ Daniel

"As for being a 31 university student and a WoW player I find the combination very hard to believe!!!"

As a 49-year-old Dofus player, I don't.

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heh

this is the kind of thing that makes me refuse to go to Amercia, always out for the easy buck doesn't matter who or how

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Another country to avoid

Well if I ever do travel to the US, I certainly will make sure that no one under the age of 18 shows up to greet me. I could be arrested for kidnapping someone, without even seeing them (or even knowing they had gone there to meet me)

I'm glad common sense is so rife in the US.....

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I think Mr Modine plays WoW

But I think [air fare] should have been rare, but I guess that all depends on the seating :)

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Anonymous Coward

And?

This is not uncommon. The age difference may be a little larger than most romances, but that is a trend that seems to be happening with a lot of online partners (my previous partner, who I met through IRC and had a long and physical relationship with) was 14 years my senior, my current partner is 5 years younger then me, and I met through WoW. To produce a long lasting long distance relationship such as these two have you need to display a maturity that a lot of (the younger) WoW players lack, although online interaction cannot be a substitute for physical interaction, nor would they truely know they are in love until they had spent some time together.

It definatly sounds like a set up by the boys parents here, and I hope this woman gets all charges dropped against her and they get a decent shot at the relationship.

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If they're only level 31 and 17...

They can't have been playing WoW for that long, which suggests there may be more to this than meets the eye. Doesn't sound like a "long-term" relationship that's for sure.

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Very nice

I don't believe she'll be jailed.

Nice joke about "soulbound". =)

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Steve Roper - check your definitions

Paedophile - A person whose primary sexual attraction is toward prepubescent children

Perhaps children mature more slowly in the US but a sincerely doubt a 17 year old boy would be considered prepubescent. There is no barely about it this woman is simply not a paedophile. There are perfectly adequate words available to describe this woman we don't need to dilute the meaning of another one just to illicit a negative emotion response in the reactionary American mentality.

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Re: Conspiracy to...

'As for being a 31 university student and a WoW player I find the combination very hard to believe!!!'

Why do you hard to believe in it?

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Anonymous Coward

Romeo and Juliet

Can a 17 year old make their own decisions? If they can't, then how can you try them as an adult?

Sad to see how creepy and dysfunctional the US is these days.

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@Rose

I think Daniel was pointing out that she was a Uni student.

With all the exams and lectures to attend, it would make it very hard for her to spend so much time in the game. Not to mention the monthly fee, how could she afford that on a student loan? Especially with all the essential stuff like going out, drinking, going out, buying takeaways, going out, paying the gas, going out, buying food, going out and occaisionally buying a book for Uni....

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Title

They aren't level 31 and 17. It was about their age!

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Rob
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@Karim

I agree.... but (this one will be below the belt) you've seen her picture and she plays WoW, I don't think the "going out" bit of your comments really applies that much.

(Sorry harsh comment, how many more of you were thinking it though)

It could be a setup, if they play on a PvP server it could be a revenge thing, she might have ganked him too many times.

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@Andrii

I think they were just making jokes

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Mage nerf

Lets hope Blizz dont' read this, they have been nerfing mages the last two years, we'll log in and find ourselves banged up in Stockades if they do see this.

Seriously though, its one of those cases that while technically is illeagal, surely common sense should prevail and draw some logical conclusions about the relationship.

Anyways, next time she sets foot in the US (if ever) she should spec frost, heaps more survivable and she just may escape, ice barrier, frost nova, blink, run, ice block, wait, blink, frost nova, and she should be about back on the plane waving. her 17/31 arcane fire obviously isn't strong enough to tackle the US mobs (probably elite) they seem to excel at casting shadow word pain everywhere :P

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It was a setup.

I read in the Adelaide Advertiser this morning claiming that, her housemate said her airfare was in fact paid for by the kids parents and she was on the phone to them every day - she claims she heard them arranging it for quite a while.

So, work that one out.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually...

A 17/31 warrior has no Protection...

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Anonymous Coward

Seriously, guys...

With the 17/31 issue, obviously she was powerlevelling him.

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Anonymous Coward

Odd

The age of consent in NC is 16.. so it would have been legal for her to go there and have sex with him.. as long as she doesn't take him back to her place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Unreal

No, Warcraft.

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He's old enough to join the US army

From www.goarmy.com

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS

* U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien

* 17-41 years old

* Healthy and in good physical condition

* In good moral standing

* High school or Equivalent Education

Some positions may have additional qualifications

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Age of consent

Hmm. Abduction charges aside, the age of consent in NC is 16; and for Australians abroad, it's also 16. However, in many Australian territories, if you are the guardian / caretaker, age of consent is 18. At a 31/17 spread, the 31 is definitely the caretaker, wimpy mage armor notwithstanding.

Should've ground another level - er, year - for the boy.

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re: Age of consent

You have to read the fine print here. The age of consent may be 16 but the statue for abduction dictates that the other party must not be older than 4 years. If she was say 21, then there wouldn't be an issue. But 31 is 14 years older making that a class-F felony. Age of consent laws in many states have that age-difference clause attached to it to prevent old farts from having their way with a consenting 17yo tart. Besides, this isn't a statutory rape case where consent is in question, but an attempted kidnapping case.

Stupid? Hell yeah for both sides--her for shooting so low on the age, the state for the repressive laws, and the parents for setting her up in the first place--or not paying enough attention to the kid to know what he's doing online.

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Re: Age of consent

I agree with you Chris, parents need to pay attention to what their children are doing online. And if they did set her up, it may have been to keep him (the kid) from ever doing it again. I doubt that we will ever know the full story because all we will ever know is what the police decide to release and what her lawyer says to the media (that she didn't do it), and who do we believe?

And yes, the US has oppressive laws, and some of them are stupid, but people just need to realize that someone that you meet online may not be the beautiful woman or handsome man who's picture they sent you.

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Anonymous Coward

how bizarre

Friends of mine met when he was 32 and she was 17.

They have been married for 8 years (together for 10), have two beautiful children and are very happy.

Bloody perverts.

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age of conset

North Carolina

The age of consent in North Carolina in general is 16, though no school faculty member can have any sexual activity with any student more than 4 years their junior except when married to the person {§14‑27.7}. Any sexual intercourse with a 13-15 year old is prohibited unless the defendant is less than 6 years older than the victim except when married to the person {§14‑27.2, 14‑27.4 & 14‑27.7A}.

no harm no foul, though i would be concerned if a 31 year old was interested sexually and romantically with my 17 year old.

and I am 43 and play WoW.

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internment

This appears to be progress. This time they have caught an Australian from Adelaide in the US, possibly breaking the law. They even had the courtesy to charge her this time.

It is just certain that even if she were set up, there is no way that the Australian Government will do anything about it.

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...but attempted kidnap?

Ignoring all the "age of consent" stuff, I sitll don't see where you get attempted kidnap from?

Surely attempted kidnap means.... attempting to kidnap someone?

Surely you can't attempt to kidnap someone you are no way near at the time?

Surely there would have to be some proof that she was at least going to try kidnap him? i.e. take him away without his consent (or his parents consent) ?

so shes on her way over to the US from Australia .... and hes at the airport going to get a flight the Australia......... hmmmm does anyone else see a problem with that? She turns up at his house and he turns up at her house in oposite countries.... ah yes ...... definatly kidnap.... thow away the key!

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Anonymous Coward

Age of consent

Do you people commenting US laws understand that this has nothing to do with a person being old enough to decide for himself? This is all about morality. And a conservative one at that.

As long as you are married, you can do whatever you like - even if you are sixty and your spouse is a fourteen year old. New Hampshire for example sets a girl's minimum age for marriage at 13, while Kansas until last year didn't even have a minimum age.

In 2005 a pregnant 14-year-old went to see her 22-year-old boyfriend in Kansas and get married. The man was arrested because he had sex with a minor he wasn't married to. Had they been, he would have walked free.

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Anonymous Coward

Sad

So, this lady is being arrested for something she didn't do.

And god knows if that lvl17... pardon, 17-year-old, lied about his true age to her.

I've seen a similar thing happen in another RPG community I'm constantly on. The worse thing is that the victim here is a friend I met in the game. He got entangled with a minor because, guess what? The minor lied about her age. And not only that, she approached him and flirted with him first. We didn't know her true age until two years later, by then he has already grown intimate to her and well, separating them has caused him to go a little mental and totally emo.

It's just not fair, isn't it?

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Silver badge

Stupid Laws...

This reminds me of a case some years ago where some girl was in a MUD but it seemed we took the "roleplay" stuff as a pretext for netsexing on the place. Lame, I thought, I consider netsex the online version of losers doing phone-sex.

Thing is, someone she knew told me to stay off because she was "only 14". Huh? So it seems like even *roleplay* is considered immoral? Most players do not even give their RL names in these games, come on! I remember that on some MUD my "father" was actually like 6 years younger than me in RL.

As for large age gap relationships go ... I used to date women 5+ my age back when I was 18. Then again, I was over the "legal age" ;)

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Women

I'm 29 and an EVE Online player. I wish there were more women who play it :( no matter what there age.

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Anonymous Coward

Disappointing

What, no gag about grinding?

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Eve

Man this story made me laugh so hard... Particularly all the comments spawning off it.

(WoW equipment could not be seized by authorities, as it is soulbound.)

is my favourite note. These things happen, if you wanna avoid them, dont go pimping 17 year olds if your over the age of 23 odd... simple as!

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Why did she need the air fare?

Should've levelled up to get a flying mount!

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Anonymous Coward

..can't help myself....

Did you know that the District Attorney in this case is in showbusiness?

...all together now...

Ta-ma-ra-Broome's D.A...

..I am so sorry..

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Whoah

Who knew the graphics in WOW were that good? That Orc pictured at the top looks almost lifelike.

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Anonymous Coward

Crazy

In one year he will be fully in control of his actions, regardless of the orcs age. Let's be honest... anyone in the position of pulling online is unlikely to do any better, let them be.

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Silver badge

Aiding and abetting

If the parents of the 17 y.o. stumped up the cash for the air fare, will they be charged with aiding and abetting an attempted kidnapping? Does the charge even make sense if the lad has consented and his legal guardians appear to have granted consent by providing financial assistance?

Of course if she is found guilty, she just needs to donate all her weapons and armour to Dubya's Great War On Terror and he will commute her sentence...

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Dam

Thou Shalt Not .. go to the US

BRB, posting this on my old guild's website :p

Done, so, to the fun now.

Why people still bother going to the US is beyong me tbh.

Double U anyone? Fear for someone that bypasses laws and limitations to wiretap his fucking own citizens?

One has to be really trying to fly to the stupid country of their own will...

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Title

Ah yes - you limeys and your hate for a place you wish you were.

I'm from America, and I'm appaled by this, myself. So everyone who thinks everyone in America is like this, go fuck yourself.

Oh, and I don't know where you people are learning all this stuff about the US and how "Evil" we are... But change the fucking channel. Our president may be a dumbass, but no one here likes him either.

Oh - and you're welcome for saving your asses during World wars one and two. Oh and Happy 4th of July!!! (oh, yeah - you guys must've forgotten about that whole deal, too...)

You guys are making France look like Mike Tyson on a 'roid rage.

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