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Mother helps catch professional ice dancer accused of having sex with her 14-year-old daughter

A mother helped catch an accused sexual predator who, deputies say, was having sex with her 14-year-old daughter.

Dane Ayers, a 20-year-old professional ice dancer, was arrested and deputies say he was having sex with the young girl at Hertz Arena.

When Collier County detectives got the case, they had to find a way to prove it. The parents knew Ayers and allowed him to take their daughter to the movies and the mall. They told investigators they never suspected he was having sex with her.

“This person is really manipulating the community, the family and the child,” said Jackie Stephens, CEO of the Children’s Advocacy Center. She says their job is to get the facts from victims.

She admitted to the relationship and explained that it ended when Ayers returned home to Arizona. The victim claimed he told her not to tell anyone because what they were doing was illegal.

“It can be emotionally difficult for kids because an older person may be taking advantage of the younger person and the other person feels flattered, feels like this person really does care about them,” Stephens explained.

So the sheriff’s office asked the victim’s mother to make a “controlled call” with Ayers. While detectives listened in, the mother directly confronted the suspect about having a sexual relationship with her daughter several times.

The report says Ayer never denied the allegations and apologized several times.

“But it’s really very important for kids to know that when this happens it’s not their fault that somebody took advantage of them and did something wrong,” Stephens said.

During the phone call, the victim’s mom asked Ayers if he was sorry for having sex with her daughter. His answer — a simple “yes.”

The U.S. Center for Safe Sport has suspended Ayers indefinitely. Hertz Arena sent us a statement this afternoon saying Ayers was never affiliated with the Florida Everblades. You can read the statement in its entirety below:

In response to your request for information concerning Dane Ayers dated Wednesday, September 9, 2020,  KTB Florida Sports Arena (Hertz Arena) rents ice time to third party figure skating organizations.  Dane Ayers was a figure skater, skating for a third party company that provides advanced skating instruction for its participants.  Please note that Mr. Ayers was not an employee of the Florida Everblades, nor was he a coach, or is not, in any way affiliated with the Florida Everblades organization. The allegations were reported to The US Center for Safe Sport, local authorities, and US Figure Skating.  On July 9, 2020, the US Center for SafeSport temporarily suspended Mr. Ayers and on September 2, 2020, he was issued a sanction stating he is ineligible and prohibited from participating in any capacity in any event or program across multiple sporting committees and organizations.  We support and follow all protocols of US Figure Skating and The US Center for Safe Sport.  We have no further comment on this matter. 

Statement from US Figure Skating

In accordance with the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s finding on Sept. 2, 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.

The health and safety of our members remains paramount. U.S. Figure Skating encourages anyone who has been abused or suspects abuse to report it to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, local law enforcement or U.S. Figure Skating.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
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