Victim Testifies in Support of Bill that would fund Kentucky icac Task force
By: Brad Bowman, The State Journal
Rep. John Tilley (left) with Alicia Kozakiewicz and PROTECT's Camille Cooper with members of the Kentucky state police
A young, shy and insecure 13-year-old Alicia Kozakiewicz met another teenager in a chat room, or so she thought. When she stepped out during a holiday dinner to meet her friend, he took her across state lines from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Virginia where she was kept in a basement dungeon and was raped live on an Internet video stream. Kozakiewicz testified before the House Standing Committee On Judiciary in support of HB 427, a bill sponsored by Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, and House Majority Caucus Chair Sannie Overly, D-Paris, which creates a dedicated revenue stream funding Kentucky State Police’s training, salaries and equipment in the Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in order to address the overwhelming flood of child pornography in the state. “I never went outside alone after dark. I was and am still scared of the dark. And yet on Jan. 1, 2002 between dinner and dessert during a holiday meal, I walk out the door to meet somebody who I thought was my friend,” Kozakiewicz said. “He groomed me quite simply. He acted like he was someone my age … grooming is as simple as befriending a child by telling them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.” After kidnapping her, Scott Tyree, a 38-year-old computer programmer in Virginia, took Kozakiewicz to his home, put a dog collar on her and chained her to the floor. Not easy to tell “It’s never been easy to tell my story, I’ve been telling it for 10 years,” Kozakiewicz said. “I was raped. I was beaten. I was tortured and the degradation was shared live to an audience on streaming video. “I was a little 90-pound girl who cried for my mommy and my daddy and prayed I would be rescued. A viewer was able to recognize the girl in that horrendous video as a girl from a missing poster.” The viewer contacted FBI. When a task force similar to the KSP’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force rescued her, they cut the collar from her neck and Kozakiewicz said she survived for a second chance and has advocated for “Alicia’s Law” across the nation. Kentucky would join eight other states that have adopted “Alicia’s Law” dedicating revenue for law enforcement resources to combat Internet crimes against children. A situation Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said continues to grow at an almost unmanageable rate. ‘Alarming statistics’ “We’ve got a problem in Kentucky and the problem is the alarming statistics,” Brewer. “We have many tracking databases ... one that was randomly pulled (for sampling) showed that we have nearly 10,000 child pornography files that were downloaded last year in Kentucky alone. “More alarming during a 24-hour period that we randomly sampled just this week, we had over 2,600 child pornography files that were made available for sharing here in Kentucky.” Brewer said the bill’s dedicated stream from fees attached to misdemeanor and felonies convictions in Kentucky’s district and circuit courts would help Kentucky State Police’s task force keep up with training, the workload, the equipment and the technology involved in prosecution. The bill passed favorably from the committee and was put on the consent agenda slating it for a vote on the House floor.
Alicia Kozakiewicz speaks in support of House Bill 427 that includes “Alicia’s Law,” named in her honor. The bill would give a financial boost to the Kentucky State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Photos by Dylan Buellfirstname.lastname@example.org