Ohio Man Arrested by FBI for Using Fortnite to Exploit Minors for Sexual Acts

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Ohio Man Arrested by FBI for Using Fortnite to Exploit Minors for Sexual Acts

Dhruv Bhatnagar
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Highlights
FBI arrested an Ohio-based man, Nicholas Ranieri, for buying young players games and items in return for sexual acts.
Nicholas Ranieri has been charged with multiple felonies and is currently held on a $125,000 USD bond.

In a startling revelation that casts a shadow over the online gaming community, an Ohio man has been apprehended by the FBI for leveraging the popular Battle Royale Fortnite, alongside video conferencing platform Zoom, to engage in illicit activities with minors. The incident has sent ripples through the industry, highlighting potential vulnerabilities in Fortnite where players, numbering over 300 million globally, come together to play the game

Ohio Man Arrested For Exploiting Underage Boys For Sexual Acts on Fortnite

Nicholas A. Ranieri, 27, from Minord, Ohio, was arrested on 26th February 2024 and faces serious charges after an FBI-led investigation uncovered his attempts to extract sexual acts from minors. The case came to light when the FBI approached the Sheriff of Scioto County in Ohio about a potential suspect who was engaging in explicit activities with minors online via multiple platforms. 

According to investigations, Ranieri was specifically going against underage males by playing Fortnite and other online titles. He would offer to buy younger players some games and items if they did sexual acts and watched him do the same.

Ohio Man Arrested by FBI for Using Fortnite to Exploit Minors for Sexual Acts

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A coordinated effort between the Scioto County SVU and the FBI led to the pinpointing of an out-of-state juvenile victim and the implementation of a search warrant at Ranieri’s residence. The search led to a seizure of several electronics, including computers, gaming systems, and cell phones, which are now pieces of evidence in the investigation. Ranieri has been arrested and is currently held on a $125,000 USD Bond. There’s also a possibility of additional charges being pressed against him as the investigation unfolds

This event serves as a wake-up call for parents and guardians. The importance of maintaining an open dialogue with children about the potential dangers of online interactions and the significance of reporting any suspicious or uncomfortable situations cannot be overstated. It is also the responsibility of game developers, platform providers, and the community at large to foster a safe and inclusive environment.


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