Florida man arrested after using Fortnite to solicit child pornography and unlawful sex | Dot Esports

Florida man arrested after using Fortnite to solicit child pornography and unlawful sex

Anthony Gene Thomas has been arrested on 22 counts of child pornography.

Image via Epic Games

A Florida man has been arrested on 22 counts of child pornography and unlawful sex with a minor after allegedly using Fortnite to find victims.

The Broward County Attorney General’s office said a co-conspirator of 41-year-old Anthony Gene Thomas contacted victims using Fortnite. The conspirator developed a relationship with a 17-year-old victim and used Epic Games’ battle royale game to introduce the victim to Thomas. Thomas communicated with the victim through the Fortnite platform and allegedly began to groom her by offering her a cell phone for their communication and credit cards. Eventually, he organized a time for them meet.

The Attorney General’s office said Thomas and the co-conspirator picked up the victim and “engaged in sexual activity” with her. The minor’s parents reported her missing and she was later found by police. A few weeks later, police arrested Thomas and charged him with “soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct using computers, traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sexual activity, possession with intention to promote sexual performance of a child, 22 counts of child pornography and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.”

“This case is disturbing not only because it involves child pornography, but also because a popular online game was used to communicate with the victim,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a statement. Moody also suggested there may be up to 20 more victims.