AMAA Hi, I'm Alicia Kozakiewicz and at the age of 13 I was kidnapped and held captive by a vicious Internet predator. "The Internet has unfortunately become an easy avenue for predators to find unsuspecting victims," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. "That is why I have introduced legislation, the Sex Offender Internet Prohibition Act of 2007, which imposes mandatory penalties, five to 10 years in prison, for individuals who are required to register as sex offenders and knowingly access a Web site with the intent to communicate with an unsuspecting child. The pandemic lockdown, which trapped young people at home on their computers, only made things worse. In response, I began to work alongside the nonprofit PROTECT and together we passed Alicias Law in twelve states, which helps to fund the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, providing resources, training, on multiple fronts. Seventeen years later, she's sharing her experience . Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. ", "Predators use the Internet to infiltrate social networking sites to arrange meetings with minors, where they use brute force to commit sexual offenses -- or worse," said Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich.. "We cannot allow the Internet to be a playground where our children are one mouse-click away from sexual predators. Street fighting in Bakhmut but Russia not in control, Saving Private Ryan actor Tom Sizemore dies at 61, Alex Murdaugh's legal troubles are far from over, The children left behind in Cuba's mass exodus, Xi Jinping's power grab - and why it matters, Snow, Fire and Lights: Photos of the Week. She was also honored with a Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2009. He listened to what I had to say day and night, giving me advice," she said. He chained me to the floor with this dog collar next to the bed. Hours Later, Dead Bodies Were Found, 'A Friend of the Family': How a Neighbor Groomed a Set of Parents and Abducted Their Daughter Twice, Okla. t. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America and in the New York Times. Human trafficking is at crisislevels,however, we can fight against this epidemic if we have the proper tools. This money is used for training, task forces, research, and rescue efforts for law enforcement agencies seeking child sexual exploitation victims. What I remember most is the silence. , Kozakiewicz had corresponded online with someone she thought to be a boy of her own ageactually Scott Tyree, a 38-year-old man who lived in Herndon, Virginiawho approached her in a Yahoo chat room. For years I struggled with personal relationships. It was my older brother who introduced me to the internet. On this Wikipedia the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title. What is really important to remember, and took a long time for me to learn, is that rape is all about power and control, and love never is. ", Michelle Collins of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has a CyberTipline to apprehend those who use the Internet to victimize children, urged the committee to "take a serious look at the dangers threatening our children today and to move decisively to provide law enforcement with the toolsit needs to identify and prosecute those who target our children. She said her attacker's release will not stop her efforts to keep kids safe. Childhood abduction survivor Alicia Kozakiewicz tells her story of recovery. He kidnapped me, held me captive, and streamed the abuse. After my own period of healing, at the age of 14, I began going into schools, giving presentations, and sharing my story, she continued. in Forensic Psychology to help other survivors. And I was really saddened to find out that the world was not like a musical where everybody dances and everybody sings. He said I'm beginning to like you too much'," she said. Acting . A tip stemming from another Internet chat led to Alicia's freedom and Tyree's arrest. Back in 2002 on New Years Day, Alicia slipped out of her house in between dinner and dessert. Whether you're held captive for four days or abused by somebody you love for years, or molested for 15 seconds on a bus, it's your experience and your pain that defines it, not the length of time and not what actually occurred. I knew they wouldn't stop until they found me. Now 27, Alicia has made it her mission to protect other children from what she went through, and has had a law named after her in several US states. arly 20 years later, Alicia is still sharing her story, across the globe to speak to audiences of children, families, teachers. "Save us from the pedophiles, the pornographers, the monsters. Sign up forPEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. Alicia knew her parents were looking for her and she thought of them at that moment. Human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion a year business. Alicia agreed to meet him. Refresh the page,. Did they know how much I loved them?". At that time the internet was really just entering the home and my parents had thought that they had given my brother and me this wonderful gift. Now an advocate for laws preventing crimes against . Nearly 20 years later, Alicia is still sharing her story,travelingacross the globe to speak to audiences of children, families, teachersand law enforcementin an effort toraise awareness of online predators, child abduction and child sexual exploitation. Once he'd got me into the basement, there was a door with a padlock on it and he took me inside. He coerced her into his vehicle and then drove her back to his home in Virginia. "He was squeezing my hand so tightly that I thought it was broken," she recalls. I was raped and beaten and tortured in that house for four days.. Tonight were going to go for a car ride. And I knew that was when he was going to kill me.. Human trafficking is at crisislevels,however, we can fight against this epidemic if we have the proper tools. Ihad become the first widely-reported Internet-related child abduction case. In response, I began to work alongside the nonprofit PROTECT and together we passed Alicias Law in twelve states, which helps to fund the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, providing resources, training and boots on the ground., The fight continues for Alicia,on multiple fronts. I heard them moving very quickly around the house. She tried to fight with her captor when she could, but was further beaten. crime scene images and videos of children being sexually abused. archived recording (alicia kozakiewicz) For the benefit of those of you who don't know, don't remember . Where I was just Alicia. "There was one guy, a boy who I thought was around my own age, that I.  He was released from prison once more on September 22, 2021. "There is no mystery about what we need to do now to save thousands of children from abuse and exploitation.". Thank you.  Kozakiewicz has worked with television network Investigation Discovery (ID) to educate the public on, and effect change for, issues such as Internet safety, missing people, human trafficking, and child safety awareness education. I thought hed sent people to kill me. If you come across a missing person flyer, please pay attention. But what happened was that I got up and slipped past the Christmas tree which was by the front door, and I opened the front door to meet this person that I thought was my friend. "He kidnapped me, held me captive, and streamed the abuse online. "And it sounds like, 'Oh, red flag, red flag, red flag,' but grooming feels good. I knew in that moment there was nothing I could do. We cannot and will not rest until these predators are shut down and locked up," said Michael Mason, executive assistant director of the FBI's Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.  The controversy became moot in October 2019, when Tyree was returned to prison for an additional two years for violating the terms of his parole by visiting pornographic sites. Tyree was arrested half an hour later at his workplace in Herndon. While I was held captive, my kidnapper broadcast himself abusing me online. Waters. Can Nigeria's election result be overturned? At conservative gathering, Trump is still the favourite. "The boogey man is real. Tyree fed her for the first time before leaving for work that day. , After her rescue, Kozakiewicz was examined at a hospital and released to the custody of Fairfax County Child Protective Services. Even today, she says, most people don't understand how it works. "The boogeyman is real he lived in my computer, and he lives in yours. But instead of going upstairs to her room, she slipped past the Christmas tree and out the front door to say a quick hello to her new friend, who was waiting in a car parked down the block. es in similar circumstances are not recovered. He was grabbing my hand so tightly that I thought it was broken and he was barking commands at me. Listen to 'The Daily': A Criminal Underworld of Child Abuse, Part 1 . My dad worked really long hours but he always left space for family time. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Alicia's Law has been passed in Virginia, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Hawaii, and Washington. Online grooming is very effective, said Ms Kozakiewicz. Nothing could hurt me ever again because my dad wouldnt let anything hurt me again. I knew my only chance of survival was to stay alive long enough for somebody to come find me. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America and in the New York Times. More than most, Alicia knows how dangerous the Internet can be. She is also the namesake of "Alicia's Law," which provides a dedicated revenue source for child rescue efforts. Even today, people are shocked when they hear a story like mine. But when she agreed to meet Scott Tyree in person, she had no idea he was a 38-year-old sadistic pedophile. Wherever there are children, there are predators and it's a parent's responsibility to stand between them, says Alicia "Kozak" Kozakiewicz, who speaks to dozens of audiences every year to advise parents on how to keep their kids safe. They gave me a second chance at life.. ", Waters cautioned lawmakers that a lack of resources is harming efforts to address this problem. There was one guy, a boy who I thought was around my own age, that I didn't know, and he was into all the things that I was into. Up until the fourth day I had done whatever I had to do to survive, no matter how painful or humiliating or disgusting, I did it, she added on Inspiring Lives with Dr. Shellie. Leave a Reply. He listened to what I had to say day and night, giving me advice.  and was assigned to a halfway house in Pittsburgh; protests against the location of his placement eventually involved members of Congress in an unsuccessful effort to pressure the Federal Bureau of Prisons to move him farther away from Kozakiewicz's family. This is her story in her own words. Sometimes, a road sign can send her into a panic attack. Recently I had my old home movies transferred to digital and I've been going through them. If they say they're using it as an alarm, buy them a [separate] alarm. Kozakiewicz said she is more determined now than ever. A woman who was kidnapped, raped and abused at the age of 13 has opened up to a British audience about her ordeal. In 2003 Alicia Kozakiewicz's kidnapper, Scott Tyree, pleaded guilty to taking a minor across state lines for the purpose of sex and producing sexually explicit images. Alicia Kozakiewicz (/li kozkvt/ -LEE-sh KOH-z-KEV-ich; born 1988) is an American television personality, motivational speaker, and Internet safety and missing persons advocate. "It's part of my healing and literally about saving lives," says Alicia. People online may be strangers at first, but then you learn about them, and soon they seem like friends. One such tool is education., Postdoc Secures Support for Innovative Work, New Ph.D. VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police eventually found Alicia tied to a bed in a Virginia townhouse.  Her 2008 book, an OJJDP publication, You're Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment, is a survival guide for recovered abduction victims.. 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I decided in that moment that I was going to do anything to get away, that I was going to risk my life. In September 2003, Tyree was sentenced to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison. Miraculously, I was rescued by the FBI. She also knew they loved her and wondered if they would find her in time. While the Protect Our Children Act was passed into law, it was never fully funded, leaving law enforcement overworked and underfunded and children in danger. Now, she teaches others how to avoid danger. I was going to fight him.. When FBI agents stormed the house on January 4, 2002, Kozakiewicz feared that they were men Tyree had sent to kill her. I thought about my parents a lot over those days. , The FBI, using the Yahoo username they had learned from the anonymous tip, found Tyree's IP address and hence his street address, at a townhouse in Herndon. Ms Kozakiewicz, soon to graduate and be married, now works to educate children on the dangers of online exploitation through her group The Alicia Project. Emotional Testimony From Online Predator Victim Victim of online predator tells Congress of horrific ordeal and urges action. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. He chained me to the floor with this dog collar next to the bed. A TCSPP forensic psychology alum, Aliciahas trained the FBI,andtestified before Congress for the Protect Our Children Act. In 2013, Kozakiewicz joined the Distinguished Speaker Series at the Clinton School of Public Service. This is really dangerous you need to go home.". That all changed on New Year's Day 2002. At 14 she decided she would use her story to educate and help others. , On New Year's Day in 2002, Tyree lured Kozakiewicz into meeting him near her Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, address. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? They gave me a second chance at life. Good has to speak up louder..  Kozakiewicz has shared her story at numerous schools and conferences, despite acknowledging that speaking about the incident can be triggering. We are currently working on Alicia's Law in Wisconsin, Maryland, and South Carolina. "I cry inside. Read about our approach to external linking. I have to tell you that it's amazing the response I get sometimes when I say that. For Alicia, the goal has always been to help and prevent what happened to her from happening toothers. Luckin Coffee announced its fourth quarter and full year 2022 financial results earlier today. She leaves us with some startling facts. At the age of 13, I was groomed and lured from my home by an internet predator, she says with complete candor. Mr. Scott. But then I realised that I'd already lost many times. My friends and I would talk about all sorts of things. "Support the children," she pleaded to the committee. And he'd already kidnapped a child, he'd already done unspeakable things to me, why would murder be something that he couldn't do? She was groomed online, by a man who she believed was a teen age boy. Mr. Two decades later she continues to educate people and speak out about her experiences, and who knows how many lives shes affected and saved as a result. One year after her abduction, at the age of 14, Kozakiewicz founded the Alicia Project. Don't let them have a phone late at night in their bedroom. In short, shes dedicated her life to the cause in the most inspiring way possible. After that he put a locking dog collar around my neck and dragged me upstairs to his bedroom and raped me.