Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Freed Australian Woman Won't Give Up Online Boyfriend

A WOMAN jailed in the US over an internet romance with a 17-year-old boy says she will miss him dreadfully while she waits out a court order preventing the pair from contact.
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Tamara Broome, 31, spent one month in a US prison after authorities there accused her of attempting to entice a North Carolina teenager she met on the internet to travel to Australia to be with her.

She was freed late last month after a plea deal and arrived back in Australia on July 29.

Broome, a former Coles supermarket employee and Adelaide university student, developed an online relationship with the boy while playing the internet game, World of Warcraft.

"We're both into gaming ... we just had the same ideals," Broome said to the Nine Network.

The boy was being pressured into joining the US Marines and sought escape through the relationship, Broome said.

"We forgot about the rest of the world when we were together, (a) big thing for both of us at the time."

Broome said she sought legal advice before offering the boy a flight to Australia.

"I thought I'd give him an option," she said.

The boy was stopped on June 12 at North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham International Airport attempting to catch an Australia-bound flight.

When Broome travelled to the US to meet up with him she was tracked by US authorities and arrested before being charged with child abduction.

The pair tried many times to break off the internet relationship, Broome said, but their bond was too strong.

"It was so much more than just infatuation," she said. "I do love him dearly."

During their online affair the pair discussed the possibility of a sexual relationship, as well as the prospect of marriage.
"We did talk about all the legal ramifications of him coming over here and what I'd heard, what was legal here and what was legal there etcetera etcetera, so yeah, it was brought up."
Broome was freed after she agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

She is forbidden from contacting the victim in any way until he turns 18 on June 9, 2008.

"I'm going to miss him dreadfully over the next couple of months," Broome said.

She also indicated the pair may seek to restore the relationship once they are allowed.

"I think I'd be crazy to let him go," she said.


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