41-Year-Old 'Fortnite' Player Arrested For Allegedly Grooming Children Via Voice Chat

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A 41-year-old Florida man has been accused and arrested by police for allegedly using Fortnite to groom children and initiate sexual activity.

The man in question is Anthony Gene Thomas from Broward County, who has been accused of unlawful sex with a minor and possessing indecent images and videos of at least one victim.

According to a police report, Thomas acted with an accomplice who would use Fortnite's voice chat to lure children in, and then introduce them to Thomas after a little bit.

"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," said Florida attorney general Ashley Moody in a statement pertaining to the story.

"Parents need to know that predators will use any means possible to target and exploit a child. I am asking parents and guardians to please make sure you know who your children meet online, and talk to them about sexual predators."

Moody urged other victims -- which police suspect could be upwards of 20 -- to contact police as soon as possible.

As of right now, only one victim has been identified, a 17-year-old who Police allege Thomas groomed using cash and gifts, one of which was a mobile phone so that he could contact the child.

As you may know, the age of consent in Florida is 18, unless the other party is 24 or younger, then it's 16.

First via Fortnite, and then through the phone, Thomas was able to meet with the 17 year old, who then brought the child to his home, which is where the sexual offences occurred.

While this happened, parents reported the child missing. However, the police soon found the child and returned the teenager home.

After being brought home, the victim remained in contact with Thomas, which is how police were able to track him down to his home and seize his property. And this is how the pornographic pictures and videos surfaced.

It's currently unclear whether police have found or have any leads on Thomas' accomplice. It seems like they haven't.


Of course, we will make updates to this story as they come in.

Thanks, BBC.