Teen 'sextortion' victim regrets not seeking immediate help
INDIANAPOLIS - "It was just one quick second," says the 18-year-old woman from Brownsburg.
But one quick second in her life three years ago holds the reason Eyewitness News is not revealing her name.
"I used to have nightmares for months. I was scared. I really couldn't go anywhere. I was very petrified that he would just be there," she said.
The "he" she's talking about is 20-year-old Trevor Shea, a Maryland man federally charged with sexual extortion of the teen and nine other young women across the country.
It all started the young woman says when she and two other friends started chatting on line with strangers one night using a webcam. According to investigators, one of them was Shea.
"Eventually they all chimed in and were like, 'Just flash us once," the young woman said, recalling what some of the people online dared her and her friends to do.
"We got in the back of the room and just flashed for a quick second," she explained.
And that's all it took says the teen for Shea to get what he needed.
"He had recorded it and froze it and turned it into a picture," she explained.
It was a picture of the young woman topless.
"It was just that one little picture," she said. One the teen says Shea used though, threatening to show her family and friends.
"I was so scared that he potentially could ruin my life," the young woman explained.
She said Shea stalked her online.
"He just kept messaging me and the threats got worse and worse and he just said, 'If you do this and this for me then it will all go away,'" she explained about what Shea told her.
She said Shea went online and searched out details about her.
"He knew where I lived. My and he knew my mom's first, last, middle name, my address," she added.
So the young woman says she gave Shea what he wanted, pictures and video of herself doing sexually explicit acts.
"It was almost like he was there in the flesh making me do it. It was just, he had that much power over me, " she explained.
She said it was a vicious cycle.
"I just was frozen in fear. I couldn't tell anyone," she said.
Until, the teen said, she couldn't take it anymore.
"I was really scared. For my life, I was scared," she told Eyewitness News.
The young woman said she finally told her mother and police. It's something she wished she'd done sooner. It's the same kind of decision she was sure other young women were struggling with right now.
"Don't be driven by fear and don't let that person control you. You need to go and tell any adult, tell a parent so it doesn't go on," the young woman said in her message for other teens who may have done something online that they now regret.
For parents she warned even if you think you know what your teens are doing online, you don't.
"There's just a lot of things out there, its hard to say no to, especially with peer pressure," she explained about the opportunities to make the wrong decisions on line.
A pressure this young woman said isn't going away. Just like the anxiety and insomnia she still copes with over what happened.
All of it, she said, avoidable had she just spoken up.