North Fort Myers man accused of sex with 15-year-old met playing Fortnite

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

A North Fort Myers man faces a charge of lewd or lascivious battery after deputies arrested him Thursday night, saying he raped a teenager he met playing Fortnite.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Dillon Atkinson, 26, was arrested after the 15-year-old victim’s parents suspected she had helped someone sneak out of their home.

Deputies looked through her school-issued Chromebook and found a chat log between the victim and a user with the email address listed as When they confronted her about it, the victim admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 26-year-old man.

She said she met him via Fortnite in June 2022 and had recently begun talking to him again. The victim told her father that she and the man had sex multiple times over the previous two weeks.

Detectives from LCSO’s special victims unit took over the investigation and assumed the investigation.

The victim was transported to the Children’s Advocacy Center and provided more information during a forensic interview. She said Atkinson was aware that she was 15 years old, and she was aware he was 26 years old.

Atkinson told the victim that he did not have a personal vehicle, only a work vehicle. The first incident occurred inside Atkinson’s work truck after he picked up the victim near her school and bought her food from Burger King.

Afterward, he dropped her off at a convenience store. The second incident occurred on Dec. 21, when Atkinson picked up the victim and took her to his home on Lowell Avenue. The victim said Atkinson’s condom broke, so he took her to a nearby Walgreens afterward to purchase Plan B as a precaution.

Atkinson confirmed the victim’s story when interviewed by detectives but said he was unaware of the legal age of consent and that the victim claimed to be 16. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Lee County Jail.

You don’t need to play games online to know what happens online can be risky for kids.

“It’s far, far more challenging for them to avoid those dangers,” said Marc Berkman, CEO of the Social Media Safety Organization. “So they need to have an understanding, including of grooming, of sexual exploitation, those are happening on gaming sites.”

Berkman realized the importance of protection after a 14-year-old in California got beat up, and the videos flooded social media. “So we began working on legislation to deter what we now call social media-motivated violence.”

Social media safety issues don’t just start with violence. There’s sex, human trafficking, and harassment. Something one lee county girl fell victim to.

WINK News asked Berkman what parents can do to protect their children. There are a few parental controls on Fortnite. Parents even have the option to turn the chat off, but how well that goes over with a 15-year-old is a different story.

“Most 15-year-olds are going to want to use that. And most parents are allowing them to do so,” Berkman said.

The best defense, Berkman said, starts with a conversation.

“The conversations and the rules are so important, making sure that your child is aware of the dangers here of what grooming is because they’re going to be confronted possibly with this issue if they’re on social media,” said Berkman.

Berkman and his organization are trying to take it a step further with new federal legislation called “Sammy’s law.” This law would require social media platforms to allow parents to use third-party safety software that could give parents alerts about various dangers that come across their child’s account.

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