Alicia Kozakiewicz – Explains how Internet Predaors Operate

A Pittsburgh woman says she would someday like to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, part of the teams that saved her from a sexual predator who was holding her captive at his Virginia home in 2002.

“He was a total monster,” Alicia Kozakiewicz says of her abductor. “He had a dungeon in the basement, all kinds of torture instruments. I was sexually assaulted. He didn’t feed me for those four days. I was fed the last day.”

She met the man in an Internet chat room. A friend introduced them in cyberspace and Kozakiewicz says her abductor spent weeks grooming her.

“Grooming is, essentially, it sounds crazy, but it’s brain washing,” she said on Friday’s MetroNews Talkline.

“It’s taking a child apart bit by bit, bite by bite, and putting them back together by always being their friend no matter what they do and always being on their side, any time of day, any time of night.”

She was 13 years old when she walked out of her house on New Year’s Day and found herself in a car with the man. Someone he was in contact with online contacted the FBI. Agents traced the predator’s IP address and busted into his house to get her on Day Four of her abduction.

Kozakiewicz was in Morgantown this week for a public awareness event called “A Night of Internet Safety.” More than 300 people were part of the event Thursday at Morgantown High School.

Sergeant Chris Casto with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of State Police says parents, sometimes, don’t know what clues to look for when it comes to their children’s online activities.

“They’re learning,” Sergeant Casto says. “One of the most important things we do with our ICAC Task Force in West Virginia is our community outreach.”

There are 59 such Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces across the country.

Kozakiewicz is now a student at Point Park University and is trying to move on with her life. She says there is a lot she does not remember.

“I was traumatized, actually, so badly that I’ve lost a lot of my memories and suffered from, essentially, a type of amnesia.”

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