Alicia "Kozak" Kozakiewicz
Alicia "Kozak" Kozakiewicz, is an abduction survivor and Internet safety expert with a Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology. As a survivor, following a period of counseling and healing, she created "The Alicia Project" at just 14 years old, which pioneered Internet safety presentations for schools. In 2007, Alicia spoke before the U.S. Congress, lobbying for the passage of the federal "Protect Our Children Act" and lobbied for the passage of "Alicia's Law," her namesake, alongside The National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT). Alicia's Law creates a dedicated revenue stream, which funds the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and makes an indelible impact on how cases are investigated by assisting law enforcement with the arrest of tens of thousands of predators since its passage.
Alicia was formerly part of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), as the Director of Outreach and Global Impact. ICMEC partnered with technology giants to launch the Global Missing Children's Network's "GMCNgine," which uses artificial intelligence, geo-targeting and facial recognition software to search the dark and clear Web to help find missing and exploited children globally. At the 2019 SXSW Conference, Alicia moderated a panel with the creators of the "GMCNgine."
Alicia presented to corporations such as JPMorgan Chase Bank, FedEx, Mayo Clinic, Caterpillar, RSA, Australia Information Security Association, among others. Alicia, an internationally-acclaimed and highly sought-after motivational speaker, has inspired millions on programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, Anderson Live, Investigation Discovery (ID), Oxygen, The CW, ABC, BBC, A&E, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, People Magazine and Cosmopolitan among many other international publications to open the world's eyes to the enormity of this untenable and horrendous situation and to make certain that no child stands alone.
Passionate and straight-from-the-heart, Alicia motivates her audiences to transcend life's challenges, pursue their passions, and discover their purpose. She has been invited to share her journey as part of the Clinton School of Public Service Distinguished Speaker Series. For her contributions to society, Alicia was honored to receive the Courage Award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a Jefferson Award, and U.S. Presidential recognition.
Alicia's documentaries include the multiple award-winning PBS film, Alicia's Message: I'm Here to Save Your Life, and Enough is Enough's Emmy award-winning, Alicia's Story. Alicia has also been featured in industrial Internet safety films and PSAs for Investigation Discovery (ID), the FBI, Office of the Attorney General, Protect, and the National Center for Missing Exploited Children, among others.
Directly sharing her inspirational message with surviving abductees, Alicia has co-authored a Department of Justice OJJDP publication, You're Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment. Engaged by the FBI, Alicia has trained the National Academy as part of the "Youth Violence: Victims and Perpetrators" program. Additionally, she is an Airline Ambassador International representative, spokesperson, and Human Trafficking Awareness Trainer. Additionally, Alicia works as an actress and a consultant for various projects, including the upcoming NBC television series, "GONE," lending unique insight and her expertise to the cast. Alicia has been cast as the lead in an upcoming independent film due to be released next Fall.
Alicia knows the world of Internet predators and advocates from a unique perspective. At age 13, she was groomed by an Internet predator for nearly a year, until Jan.1st, 2002, she walked outside of her Pennsylvania home, to meet a person who she thought was a friend. She was kidnapped, taken by car hundreds of miles from her home to his, in Virginia. There, she was held captive in his basement dungeon and chained by the neck to the floor. She was beaten, electrocuted, raped and tortured, suffering unspeakable acts of violence that were live-streamed to an online audience. Forced to do whatever was necessary to survive, her goal was to stay alive long enough for someone to rescue her. Terrified, knowing that the man would soon kill her, Alicia struggled to maintain hope that she would be found.
Miraculously, that rescue came after four barbaric days. A tipster of the live-stream recognized her from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) missing person flyer, and contacted Law Enforcement. Following digital footprints, the FBI and local authorities were able to track down his IP address, which led to the location where she was being held captive. Breaking down the door, law enforcement cut the chain from around her neck, giving her a second chance at life. For the next 17 years, she chose to dedicate her life to the eradication of predatory crimes against children through education, communication and effective legislation.
Alicia's predator was sentenced in Federal Court to 19 years and 7 months, but in a shocking turnabout, he was released early. A reporter notified her on social media that he was placed in a halfway house only four short miles from her parent's home, sending chills down her spine deep into her very bones. Her family became terrified that he was within walking distance and might seek revenge. He was released into Pittsburgh where he has no connections or ties to the area. Her family attended several hearings to have him relocated, but to no avail.
Alicia was told she was notified of his release by email, although she could not find any record of notification. An authorized reply should be requested for such important information. The victim notification system should include certified mail, as well as a list of resources for assistance, such as counseling. A Protection from Abuse Order was discussed, but not possible because "he has to do something first."
Alicia was finally able to convince the courts to put an ankle monitor on him, but this order would only last for six months. The offender was asked by the Judge where he would like to move. Even though there are 92 re-entry programs, including one on the West Coast where he formerly lived, he did not agree to relocate. Instead, he filed with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to remain in Pittsburgh, where he was in a trade school. Alicia was told that to move him would disturb his education, making it more likely that he would re-offend, proving he is still a dangerous predator. Sexual offenders are currently required to be a certain distance from schools and other areas children frequent. Our government should not permit outdated standards to allow vile, depraved and vicious predators to have more rights than their victims.
In a recent turn of events, while waiting on pins and needles for the Judge's decision on his relocation, her offender violated the terms of his federal probation by accessing pornography and links to live sex videos on both trade school and halfway house computers, fueling his violent addiction. Polygraphers also concluded he was using countermeasures to manipulate his lie detector test, proving he was still a liability and a risk to everyone and was sent back to prison.
James Haven joined Alicia's crusade and banded together on this precedent-setting case as she continues the fight, pioneering standards and practices for the post-release movement, as there are none in place. Many other victims in similar circumstances have reached out, asking Alicia to be their voice, as they are too fearful of coming forward. James proclaimed, "Today is a new landscape for Justice. No one is above the Law: Not Churches. Not Universities. Not Sports. Not Families. Not Communities. So I find it imperative that we work tirelessly not to re-traumatize survivors of abuse. Every single care must be taken to protect the survivor and not just re-integrate the abuser into society." Alicia's reach bridges the gap from local communities to the far ends of the globe. Her extraordinary life story exemplifies the strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity.