Police search for accused child molester - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police search for accused child molester

Authorities are now taking big, bold steps to catch an accused child molester.

Metro Nashville police launched the search for Jeremy Duffer, but he has been spotted here in Memphis.

Authorities believe he may have met someone online who shares his interest in role-playing games.

Investigators say Jeremy Duffer met his 12-year-old victim in a shop selling role-playing games and lured the boy through an interest in the world of fantasy gaming.

People who play those games here in the Mid-South tell us child safety in their world is no different than any where else.

They say the best weapon against this type of evil is common sense parenting.

It's a world of fantasy - an escape from the real world.

"Some people watch movies, this makes me use my imagination," said Ed Stafford, fantasy gamer.

Here in the Mid-South, avid gamer Stafford guesses there are thousands of people playing role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons.

But even with all those people, he says players in this area take care of their own.

"(If) there's a 16-year-old girl, he's about 40 and he keeps staring at her through the entire game, she probably won't have to say anything because the rest of the group will probably drag him outside," said Stafford.

Jeremy Duffer is wanted in Nashville. He's charged with repeatedly raping a 12-year-old boy.

A boy investigators say Duffer met at a gaming store.

Duffer allegedly bought the child toys in exchange for sex acts.

Stafford says those toys could have been a red flag.

"If your kid walks in with all sorts of new books and what-not, you've got to wonder where it's coming from," said Stafford. "I've never been able to stress parenting enough."

Whether they're shopping for new game pieces, or playing in a group, Stafford said parents should be careful.

"Know who your kids are with - gaming shops are not a babysitter. The mall is not a babysitter," said Stafford.

And it's not a game when the fantasy goes too far.

Investigators say Duffer was last seen in Memphis.

They believe he's driving a blue 1990 model four-door Pontiac 6,000.

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