Alicia Kozakiewicz was just 13 years old when she was lured into meeting an online predator, after eight-months of careful grooming.
She was kidnapped and abused for four days, being rescued by the FBI “just in time”.
The now 29-year-old tells 9Honey in hindsight, there might have been some red flags, but as a teenager in 2002 sitting on a computer chat room, she thought then 40-year-old Scott Tyree was a “boy” her own age, who had become a good friend.
“With grooming, it's that the predator says everything that the child would want to hear,” Alicia says, recalling: “If I were into certain kind of music or certain movie, it would also be his favourite.”
Alicia adds that as a teenager, it’s easy for the lines to blur.
“I'm sure the constant being on my side and always building me up and always giving the advice that would best make me feel good, would be a red flag...but then that's just a really good friend, right?!”
“Somebody who's there for you all the time, builds you up, builds up your confidence, that you trust - that's what a predator does, they pretend to be your friend and that feels very real.”
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