Dillon Atkinson, aged 26, from North Fort Myers, was arrested on Dec. 29 and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim between 12 and 16 years old, according to Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
The Miami Herald reported that the victim’s parents called the police after discovering a chat between their daughter and someone with an email that coincides with Atkinson’s name on her school-issued Chromebook, according to an arrest affidavit.
WINK-TV reported that the victim admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 26-year-old man after she was compelled by her parents.
According to the television station, the teen said she met the man through the video game Fortnite in June 2022 and started talking to him.
The first incident occurred inside Atkinson’s work truck after he picked up the victim near her school and bought her food, according to the arrest affidavit, the Television station reported.
WINK reported that allegedly, the second incident occurred on Dec. 21 at the suspect’s home.
Atkinson confirmed the victim’s story when interviewed by detectives but later said he did not know the legal age of consent and that the victim claimed to be 16 years old.
A spokesperson from the game developer, Epic Games, said in a statement that the company has protections in place for minor players and that they take reports about the safety of their players seriously and investigate them thoroughly, and work directly with local law enforcement for actions to be taken.
The online record shows that the suspect remains in the Lee County Jail, with bail set at $100,000, and he is scheduled to appear in court on the 30th of January.