‘Girl in closet’ charged for child abuse
A North Texas woman who was rescued from trash and faeces strewn closet as a child and later spoke publicly about her abuse has been indicted on child sex abuse charges.
A Denton County grand jury indicted 25-year-old Lauren Ashley Kavanaugh on Thursday, according to The Dallas Morning News.
She's been in Denton County Jail since her December arrest in lieu of $10,000 bond. Jail records don't show that she has an lawyer.
Lewisville police say Kavanaugh admitted having a "sexual relationship" with a 14-year-old girl she met through a Facebook page Kavanaugh uses to support and befriend other abuse victims.
The Facebook page, called "The Lauren Kavanaugh Story", was a fan page set up around Kavanaugh, who suffered horrifying abuse at the hands of her mum and stepdad. She was kept locked in a dirty closet inside of their caravan in Hutchins.
Kavanaugh was age 8 and weighed 25 pounds in 2001 when investigators found her in a Dallas County mobile home closet. Authorities say she'd also been sexually abused. As an adult she told her story on talk shows like Doctor Phil.
After she was discovered her mother and step dad were both prosecuted and are serving life sentences in Texas jails.
Authorities became aware of the relationship between Kavanaugh and the child when Facebook alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The social media site detected suspicious behaviour using their monitoring software, according to reports.
While records don't clearly indicate when the relationship began, they show communications ceased for a time when Kavanaugh moved away.
But last year she moved back to North Texas and after reconnecting with the teenager she moved into the same home as them, in an long stay hotel.
The teenager told prosecutors of sex acts between her and Kavanaugh.
If found guilty, Kavanaugh faces 20 years in prison, according to Dallas News.