A 26-year-old Florida man was arrested this week for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl he met while playing the online video game Fortnite.
Dillon Atkinson was taken into custody last Thursday and charged with one count of lewd or lascivious behavior and one count of battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 16, court documents reviewed by Law&Crime show.
When caught, authorities say, Atkinson blamed a poor understanding of the age of consent laws.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim’s parents called the police after looking through her school-issued computer and discovering chats between her and a person using the email address “[email protected]” — later confirmed to be Atkinson.
When confronted about the chat logs, the victim admitted to her parents that she had been having “a sexual relationship with a 26-year-old male” whom she met via Fortnite in June 2022. She said that in the preceding two weeks, she and the 26-year-old man “had sexual intercourse multiple times, with the most recent incident occurring approximately two days ago,” the document states.
Due to the nature of the allegations, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim Unit responded to the victim’s home and took over the investigation.
The victim was transported to the Children’s Advocacy Center, where a case coordinator conducted a forensic interview in an attempt to learn additional details about the victim’s alleged relationship with Atkinson.
The victim confirmed that she and Atkinson were both aware of each other’s ages when they engaged in sexual intercourse in Atkinson’s work van for the first time approximately two weeks prior, the affidavit states. During that encounter, the victim allegedly said that Atkinson “penetrated her vagina, her anus, and her mouth with his penis.” He then dropped her off outside of a convenient store.
The second alleged statutory rape took place approximately a week later at Atkinson’s home in Fort Meyers and involved similar sexual acts during which Atkinson’s condom broke.
“Afterward, [Atkinson] took the victim to a nearby Walgreens where he purchased Plan B, and gave it to the victim as a precaution because the condom broke,” the affidavit states.
A third encounter between the two allegedly happened on the side of the victim’s house three days before she was interviewed by the case coordinator.
Detectives then went to Atkinson’s home where they detained him and brought him to the LCSO main headquarters for questioning. Atkinson allegedly agreed to speak with detectives without an attorney present after being read his Miranda rights and confessed to having sex with the 15-year-old victim on multiple occasions.
“During his post-Miranda statement, [Atkinson] confirmed he and the victim met each other approximately five months prior on the video game Fortnite, The two began a friendship that later turned romantic in nature. They began communicating through Discord, a phone application where people text, chat and make video calls,” the affidavit states. “[Atkinson] admitted to knowing the victim was underage because she told him she was sixteen years old. However, he advised the victim told him the age did not matter to her. [Atkinson] also stated he was unaware of the legal age of consent.”
He is currently being detained on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 30.
Read the affidavit below:
[image via Lee County Sheriff’s Office]
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