Man found in Fla. girl's bedroom met online


Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 2:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 2:43 p.m.

The mother of a 14-year-old Clay County girl found a 20-year-old man in her daughter's bedroom Monday, setting off a federal investigation. The man allegedly rode a bus to Florida from Colorado to see the girl he met while playing an Internet game.

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JOHN B. COE

Clay County Sheriff's Office

John B. Coe, of Denver, was arrested by Clay County Sheriff's Office investigators and charged with lewd battery, traveling to meet a minor and solicitation of a child.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Paul Normann said the FBI has agreed to work on the case with local officials because the suspect reportedly crossed state lines and is also a suspect in a similar Montana case. Investigators said Coe was arrested in July by Montana's Glacier County Sheriff's Office following a similar incident.

"Because both of these cases involved him [Coe] crossing state lines to find his victims, we are working cooperatively with the FBI so that this case can be federally prosecuted," Normann said.

In the Clay County case, Coe allegedly met the victim - who lives in northwestern Clay County - while playing the online game at mabinogi.nexon.net, which allows participants to communicate with each other.

After meeting over the Internet, Normann said the man rode a Greyhound bus to Clay County and arrived over the weekend. The girl's mother found Coe in the girl's bedroom on Monday and called deputies. Normann said the incident can be a reminder to parents about the potential hazard of online gaming sites that arises because many allow participants to communicate while playing.

"Parents need to keep monitoring how their kids are using their computers and all the activities they get involved with while they are online," Normann said.

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