'Alicia's Law' works to fight internet crimes against children

At the age of 13, Alicia Kozakiewicz was kidnapped, after meeting up with who she thought was a friend online, May 7, 2018. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Area law enforcement agencies are improving their abilities in fighting internet crimes against children.

The 'Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children' Conference was held Monday at the KI Convention Center.

One of the keynote speakers was Alicia Kozakiewicz, a survivor and advocate for child internet safety.

"I thought this was a boy around my age and he was interested in me," she said. "What I was about, and wanted to talk to me."

At the age of 13, she was lured out her Pittsburgh home, to meet someone who she considered a friend online.

But who that person turned out to be is any parent's worst nightmare.

"He was instantly a monster," said Kozakiewicz. "He instantly threatened my life, and that was when I knew I no longer had control of my life."

Kozakiewicz was kidnapped and taken to Virginia.

She says she was chained up, raped and tortured in a basement for four days, "I did whatever I had to survive. No matter how humiliating or brutal or disgusting. I did it because I wanted to live."

She was rescued by the fast work of the FBI. And it's her story, which created 'Alicia's Law.'

"Alicia's Law has been helpful in helping to get to victims faster," said Wisconsin Attorney General, Brad Schimel.

The law was signed into Wisconsin legislation in 2016. It helps fund the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task force.

Schimel says the law allows officers to use the most updated technology working to catch predators quicker.

"They're working at it, they spend a lot of hours perfecting their craft," he said. "That's why it's so important that law enforcement is perfecting their craft."

With her mission to save more children from falling prey, Kozakiewicz says her work has just begun.

"When horrible things happen, we need to learn from it, and we need to make changes," she said.

"Alicia's Law" has been signed into law in 11 states.

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