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"Alicia's Law" namesake advocates in Annapolis

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 17:47:13-05

An abduction survivor was in Annapolis Thursday advocating for a law with her name on it.

Alicia Kozakiewicz was kidnapped, tortured and held captive by a man she met on the internet in 2002.

“When I was 13 years old I was lured from my home by an internet predator who abducted me and held me captive in his Virginia basement where I was raped and beaten and tortured,” Kozakiewicz said.

Fortunately, the FBI found her after four days through the suspect’s IP address. Since then she's been working to make sure that officers have the resources they need to do the same for other missing children.

Alicia’s Law would create a dedicated funding source for the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to better combat child predators.

"It's happening here in Maryland to thousands of children who are waiting for a rescue and without Alicia's Law without that funding that rescue may never come," said Kozakiewicz.

The bill proposes that the first $3 million in unclaimed lottery prizes go directly to the fund. According to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, unclaimed money accrues in the unclaimed prize fund, which is used for bonus prizes and second chances for players.

“What Alicia's Law does is it helps to fund the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces to get these monsters off the streets and to rescue those children who are suffering as I have.” Kozakiewicz said.

The law has passed in nine other states and on Thursday Kozakiewicz was in Annapolis urging lawmakers to add another to the growing list.

“This is something that's going to keep happening and we need to make sure that our police and our investigators and our prosecutors have the resources they need to combat these awful predators,” said Baltimore City Delegate Brooke Lierman.

“There's been a tremendous surge in crimes against children particularly sexual exploitation, human trafficking, that have been committed via advanced technology. As technology advances we have to protect some of our vulnerable individuals which are our children, our most precious assets in this state,” said Montgomery County State Senator Susan Lee.

And with the internet virtually at our fingertips anywhere we go, online predators have more access to children, which is why Kozakiewicz believes this issue needs immediate attention.

“We know that these kids are suffering, we know that this is really happening and to know and do nothing about it is to be one of the bad guys,” Kozakiewicz said.

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