A survivor of a brutal abduction nearly twenty years ago is in Green Bay sharing her story.
Alicia Kozakiewicz spoke to law enforcement at the Internet Crimes Against Children conference where officers received specialized training in investigating technology-driven crimes against children.
The internet had just started to boom when Alicia was in middle school.
She grew up in a safe home, a safe neighborhood and in what she calls a “safe world.”
But when she met someone she thought was her age online her safe world was turned upside down and she’s hoping her experience will serve as a cautionary tale while giving law enforcement more training.
“I knew that he could kill me, I was no longer in control of my life. My job is to stay alive as long as possible whatever that meant,” says Kozakiewicz.
13-year-old Alicia says she was kidnaped, beaten and raped by someone she thought she trusted.
“My intuition spoke up, a little voice said ‘Alicia, turn around and go home, this is dangerous.’ “I ask everybody, please listen to your intuition, that gut feeling, it’s there for reason. It could save your life.”
Like many other victims of internet crimes Alicia met her perpetrator online.
But unlike some victims Alicia was saved, her whereabouts discovered by a livestream her abductor created online displaying her torture.
That’s why “Alicia’s Law” came to be.
It provides funding for training for law enforcement agencies to spot potential online predators.
“Today I got to hear it from the people who need it, who are saying, ‘Our load is lighter, a weight is lifted off of our shoulders , we can go out and we can save kids because of this law,” says Kozakiewicz.
The law has passed in 11 states and passed in Wisconsin in 2016.
In the first three months of 2018, the Wisconsin task force has reported 119 arrests, more than 200 search warrants and more than 250 subpoenas issued for suspected online predators.
“”Alicia’s Law” has enabled us to investigate these cases more quickly without compromising anyone’s constitutional rights, but allowing law enforcement to get to a potential victim faster,” says Wisconsin attorney general Brad Schimel.
Alicia, now 30, says she thinks about her time in her abductor’s basement.
“I’m very lucky to be here and I’m so thankful to the people who rescued me because they gave me my life back. I truly got a second chance at life.”
And who knows who else may have another chance at life because of “Alicia’s Law”.
To follow Kozakiewicz’s ongoing efforts, follow the link to her website: https://www.aliciakozak.com/.
“Alicia’s Law” was created by a group called Protect, you can find more information about them at www.protect.org.