Jailed Texas mum 'lured teen on World of Warcraft'

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The Independent Tech

A Houston mother remained jailed on Wednesday after authorities said she flew to Canada and lured a 16-year-old boy, whom she allegedly had an online sexual relationship with for more than a year, away from his home.

Lauri Price, 42, has been charged by prosecutors in Houston with two counts of online solicitation of a minor and one count of enticing a child with the intent to commit a felony.

Authorities say Price started having an online sexual relationship with the boy, then 15 years old, in September 2008 after meeting him on the internet video game World of Warcraft, said Donna Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office.

After going to the teen's home in Ontario in February and failing to lure the boy away, Price continued her online relationship with the boy, said Lt. Matthew Gray, with the Houston Metro internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.

"She talked to him about sex and a lot of different stuff. It was a very long, long grooming process. She thought that in February she had him at that time.

She continued to work on him until she finally felt she broke through," he said.

On Dec. 29, Price flew back to Canada and lured the teen from his home, taking him to a hotel in Rosseau, about 110 kilometres away, and having sex with him, Gray said.

"From our investigation, we have thousands of emails and instant messages to go through. She was very persistent to say the least," Gray said.

Price was arrested early Tuesday morning at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport after returning from Canada. She made her initial court appearance on Wednesday.

Her attorney, Skip Cornelius, did not immediately return a telephone call on Wednesday.

Before leaving his home, the teen left a note for his mother saying he was running away with Price. Authorities in Barrie were looking for the two when an off-duty police officer in Rosseau spotted them at the hotel, Gray said.

Price is not facing charges related to sexual assault because the age of consent in Canada is 16.

But Canadian police knew Price could face possible charges in the United States and told US authorities when she would be returning to Houston, Gray said.

Price has worked as a permanent substitute teacher with the Cypress-Fairbanks school district in suburban Houston, and has four children, Gray said. Prosecutors said after her arrest, Price was fired from her job.

Price is being held in the Harris County Jail under bonds totalling $20,000.

If convicted, she faces from two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for each charge, Hawkins said.