QAnon influencer's 'groomer' past shaken loose by ill-conceived defamation suit against newspaper
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Court records reveal a QAnon influencer has a criminal past involving a sexual relationship with a minor.

Conspiracy theorist Phil Godlewski filed a defamation suit against the Scranton Times-Tribune that inadvertently outed him as the sort of "groomer" that fellow QAnon adherents are purportedly worried about, and the newspaper has filed a new motion that claims he perjured himself and broke other courtroom rules, reported The Daily Beast.

The Pennsylvania-based Godlewski has more than 600,000 followers on the right-wing social media app Telegram and another 156,000 subscribers on the alternative video platform Rumble, and he bought a $1.7 million house earlier this year with money he made directing his fans to sign up for multilevel marketing schemes and other financial arrangements.

But the conspiracy theorist pleaded guilty more than a decade ago to corruption of a minor and sentenced to three months under house arrest after he was indicted on a variety of charges related to an alleged sexual relationship with a girl he met when she was a 15-year-old high school freshman and he was a 25-year-old high school baseball coach.

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The Times-Tribune reported the case last year in a profile on Godlewski, and he sued the newspaper for defamation -- which caused his victim to come forward and reveal that she only stopped cooperating with investigators in 2010 after he threatened to kill himself.

The girl's boyfriend had died by suicide soon after she met Godlewski, a coach at her high school, and her parents said he began showering her with gifts, including a $2,800 pair of diamond earrings, and sent her thousands of text messages, including more than 300 in one day, that revealed details about their sexual relationship and his awareness that she was underage.

“Realized that you’re only 15, but quickly stopped caring,” one message read. “Why are we so compatible?” read another. “I’m 10 years older than you.”

Godlewski alluded to their sexual relationship in a message he sent to the victim in March 2021, when he expressed condolences for her grandfather's death.

“I had no idea your Popa died,” Godlewski wrote in the text message, according to court filings. “I’m so sorry. I think we had sex in their bed though.”

The newspaper's attorneys complained that Godlewski failed to turn over those text messages as part of their discovery requests, and they said other text messages turned over by the victim showed he directed her to lie as part of his defamation case and hinted that she might receive a "financial windfall."

“Not only did Philip Godlewski commit a sex crime against a 15-year-old girl in 2009-2010," the newspaper's attorneys wrote, "he has now solicited this same person to commit perjury in a Court proceeding so he can enrich himself."