Alicia was a shy girl from a close-knit family, but on New Year’s Day in 2002, she did something completely out of character. She agreed to meet a friend she had been chatting with online for eight months.
On Oprah today, Alicia said, “I can remember standing behind a tree and thinking, ‘This is really stupid.’ My senses came back to me for a second.” At that moment, Alicia says she heard her name being called out and got into the car with 38-year-old Scott Tyree. “Once I got near him, something changed and I realized that this person’s a monster,” Alicia says.
Tyree drove Alicia to his home in Virginia. Over the next four days, Alicia says she was raped, bound in chains, shocked with volts of electricity and hung by her arms as her 13-year-old body was beaten.
“He tortured me,” Alicia says. “He treated me like an animal—a dog. I basically did whatever I had to to survive. It’s like I’m a whole entirely different person. That man did kill that little girl. He did. That girl’s completely dead.”
Tyree bragged to his friends about the girl held captive in his basement. He even videotaped her bound and chained and shared those images over the Internet.
One of the friends Tyree had been sharing his webcam videos with online saw Alicia’s face in the newspaper and decided to turn Tyree in. “I suppose he got nervous that this was now going to be on his hands if [Tyree] murdered me,” Alicia says.
After four days of sheer hell, Alicia was rescued by the FBI. She was found chained to the ground by lock and collar. “When I said he treated me like a dog, he did,” Alicia says.
Alicia says she now realizes she was groomed by a child predator. “He groomed me, and in doing so, he brainwashed me. That sounds crazy, but he did. He took apart the 13-year-old girl that I was and created this creature that he wanted me to be.”
“After eight months of talking like that, it takes you apart,” Alicia says. “It does. And he’s always there, all the time.”
Tyree pled guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and travel with intent to engage in sexual activity with a minor. He was sentenced to 19 years in federal prison.
Alicia is now fighting to keep predators like Tyree behind bars. A junior in college, she spends much of her time speaking at schools about her ordeal, and hopes to join the FBI so she can fight for other children.
Learn about Alicia’s Law and help get it funded for 2010.
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act urgently needs funding and reauthorization by the July 2009 deadline. The act was passed on July 25, 2006—20 years after Adam’s abduction—and it established a National Sex Offender Registry law.
However, recent news reports reveal that most states will not be in compliance with the law by the upcoming deadline. If senators and state representatives don’t comply with and fully fund the act, it will run out.
You can use this sample letter to write to their senators and state representatives and demand that the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act gets funding. Take a moment and copy this letter and email it to your state senator.
Click this link for Internet Safety Tips For Families