Arizona ice skater accused of abusive sexual relationship with teen-aged girl

Arizona ice skater accused of abusive sexual relationship with teen-aged girl
Dane Ayers, 20. (Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office via AZ Family)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A central Arizona ice dancer is in custody on multiple charges for his alleged sexual involvement with a 14-year-old girl.

Dane Ayers, a 20-year-old international ice skater from Scottsdale, is facing multiple charges including lewd or lascivious behavior and battery of a victim between the ages of 12 and 16 for an abusive sexual relationship he had with the girl last year, according to AZ Family.

The victim, who is also an ice skater, became friends with Ayers in September 2019 while they were training at a Florida skating rink. Soon after that, she told investigators Ayers asked her if she wanted to be more than friends.

That friendship soon turned into an abusive sexual relationship, AZ Family reports. The victim told police they had sex in various public locations and while they visited Turkey.

Police say Ayers befriended the girl’s parents, who did allow her to go to the movies and the mall with him but soon noticed a change in the teen’s behavior, including self-harm. A mental health professional then reported the alleged abuse to the authorities.

Ayers was living in Florida during the alleged abuse but things ended when he moved back to Arizona, AZ Family reports. That’s when he allegedly told the girl “not to tell anyone," police say.

Ayers was sanctioned by the U.S. Figure Skating grievances committee.  The U.S. Center for SafeSport temporarily suspended Ayers on July 9 from skating activities. Then on Sept. 2, the organization ruled that he would be ineligible to participate in any ice skating events, programs, or competitions, AZ family reports.

He was held on a $20,000 bond but has since been released.

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