International ice skater accused of having sex with 14-year-old in Lee County

An international ice skater was arrested in Lee County, accused of having sex with a 14-year-old he met at Hertz Arena.

The report states that Dane Ayers, 20, befriended the teen’s parents and then had sex with the teen in the arena parking lot.

According to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office warrant, Ayers and the victim met at Hertz Arena in Estero last September. Documents say he asked her if she wanted a relationship, and that’s when they began having sex in his Tesla.

“It’s creepy,” said Lily Lehaye of Estero. “Taking advantage of people and stuff like that is a common thing.”

“It makes me sick. Absolutely sick,” said Jeremy Urban of Flagler County.

The warrant states that the victim told investigators that the sexual encounters also happened at the Miromar Outlet Mall and in Turkey. Documents also say the relationship lasted until December of last year when Ayers moved back to Arizona.

Also in the warrant, it states that Ayers asked the victim not to tell anyone because he knew it was illegal.

“It makes me irate. People need to stop normalizing this stuff. It needs to stop happening in our communities,” Urban added.

The warrant also says the victim eventually told a counselor about her relationship with Ayers.

“It’s actually disturbing to me,” said Urban.

Urban also believes Ayers skating career should end. “I don’t think that he needs to be ice skating anymore,” he said.

On July 9, 2020, the U.S. Center for SafeSport temporarily suspended Dane Ayers.

On Sept. 2, 2020, the U.S. Center for SafeSport issued a sanction regarding U.S. Figure Skating member Ayers, saying he’s ineligible. It says until further notice, beginning on Sept. 2, 2020, Dane Ayers is prohibited from participating, in any capacity, in any event, program, activity, or competition authorized by, organized by, or under the auspices of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), the National Governing Bodies recognized by the USOPC, a Local Affiliated Organization as defined by the Code, any High Performance Management Organization (HPMO), or at a facility under the jurisdiction of the same.

WINK News spoke to Ayers on the phone and he referred us to his lawyer. The lawyer sent us a statement saying, “Today was simply the initial appearance and beginning of the legal process. It’s too early in the proceeding to make any further comment at this time.”

WINK News also reached out to U.S. Figure Skating and SafeSport to ask if his suspension is related to this arrest. U.S. Figure Skating did not get back to us.

SafeSport said the Center doesn’t discuss individual matters to protect the integrity of the process and the privacy and safety of the people involved, including those who report abuse.

WINK News also reached out to Hertz Arena. We have yet to hear back.

All warrants and documents pertaining to Ayers can be found below:

Lee County arrest report
‘Not guilty’ plea
Collier affidavit

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Drew Hill
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