California man who traveled to England to wed 14-year-old gets more than 25 years in federal prison

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OAKLAND – David John Telles, Jr., was sentenced to serve 302 months in prison after posing as a young boy to groom a British schoolgirl.

After a two-week trial, Telles, 43, of Pleasanton, Calif., was convicted on October 29, 2018, of all counts in the indictment against him: 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.

Evidence at trial showed that Telles spent weeks using an online game, ‘Clash of Clans’, a social media application, and his cell telephone to groom the 14-year-old victim, who lived in England—telling her that she was his girlfriend and that he wanted to marry her.

According to the Daily Mail, Telles ‘eventually revealed he was a 38-year-old widower with two teenage children of his own but by then the girl was infatuated by his attention and replied ‘age is just a number’.’

Telles then traveled to England in June 2014 with the intent to sexually abuse the victim. After arriving in England, Telles took the victim to two different hotels, where he sexually abused her over the course of two days.

The girl left her parents note saying ‘I am gone. I will be back, I love you’

Police officers from the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in England caught Telles and rescued the child. At the time of her rescue, she was wearing an engagement ring Telles gave her.

Telles was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 13, 2013, on one count each of online enticement of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b); traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b); and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(c).

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting vulnerable children, in our district and throughout the world, from dangerous people who use the internet to meet and groom them, while intending to do them harm,” U.S. Attorney Anderson said.

“This and similar investigations illustrate that people like Telles really exist and target our most vulnerable members of society. 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,” said Special Agent in Charge Spradlin. “Homeland Security Investigations is committed to public safety, which includes protecting the children and youth of our communities who are most vulnerable to online predators.”

In addition to the prison term, Judge White also sentenced Telles to a 15-year period of supervised release. While on supervised release, Telles must register as a sex offender and must participate in sex-offender-specific treatment. Judge White also ordered Telles to have no contact with the victim without permission of the probation office. The defendant will begin serving the sentence immediately, and will receive credit toward his sentence for the time he has spent in custody since his arrest by federal authorities on October 20, 2016.

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