From being rescued from a closet where she was raped by her parents to being arrested for child sexual abuse, here’s what you should know about Lauren Kavanaugh
Texan Lauren Kavanaugh, nicknamed “Girl in the Closet” after being rescued from a fecal-covered closet, was released from Denton County Jail on October 6th. She was arrested on three child sexual abuse charges following her 2019 indictment and given a 20-year bills for each charge. She was previously found to be mentally unfit for trial and the court ordered her to be admitted to a mental health facility. She was released three years later after all charges against her were dropped and the authorities have not yet had to provide an explanation of their dismissal.
Kavanaugh was charged and arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl she met on an online platform. The girl’s parents said Kavanaugh lived with them for a while, where she befriended their daughter and later developed a sexual relationship. Kavanaugh was sent to jail despite claiming these allegations against her were false. Three years later she ran free, which seems to be a glimmer of hope in her otherwise tragic life. Here are five things you should know about the “girl in the closet” and the tragic case of sexual abuse.
Lauren Kavanaugh was raped by her parents in a closet covered in feces
Eight-year-old Lauren Kavanaugh was rescued from a motor home by the police in Hutchins and was lying in her old filth. She had been subjected to sexual torture by her birth mother and stepfather for years over the years, and the case shocked the world after it came to light. Kavanaugh reportedly looked like a “Holocaust survivor” after he was rescued. When she arrived at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas on June 11, 2001, she had a bloated stomach, protruding ribs, and a round arm about the size of a quarter. At 8, she weighed just 25.6 pounds, which is the size of an average 2 years old. Doctors said she was harmed in ways they had never seen before.
Lauren Kavanaugh looked like “child from a horror movie”
Gary McLain was the first officer to reach the trailer from which Lauren was rescued. When asked what it was like to see the kid for the first time, he said, “She looked like one of those kids from a horror movie. I know that’s terrible, but I can’t think of any other.” Way to describe it. “When she was first found, it was feared that she could be irreparably damaged physically and emotionally, but her repentance surprised people.
“When I first saw her she wasn’t social, she was chronically depressed, she was suicidal, she felt worthless. Today she is ready to embrace her past. She is no longer embarrassed or ashamed of it. She says: “That happened to me, but I’m still here. I survived and I’m fine, “said Lindsay Jones, a therapist who treated Lauren for six years, in 2013.” Lauren really is a teacher to all of us. It teaches us that recovery is real. And as humans, we have skills we really aren’t aware of until someone like Lauren shows us what’s possible, “said Leslie Baker, a court-appointed attorney who worked closely on the case for a decade, and added that she gets goose bumps thinking about Lauren’s evolution.
Her birth mother and stepfather are in jail
Kavanaugh was deprived of proper nutrition and stimulation from ages 2 to 8, resulting in brain atrophy. One report said she didn’t know how to hold a pencil, recited ABC, didn’t have a potty, and didn’t know what grass felt like under her feet. Lauren’s half-sister Blake Strohl once said that she would hear her crying at night and when she occasionally took her out of the closet for a bath, she saw burns on her head and back that looked like cigarette burns. Blake also said Lauren’s vagina was swollen. It wasn’t until years later that she found out that her half-sister was sexually abused by her mother and stepfather. Lauren’s mother, Barbara Atkinson, and stepfather, Kenny Atkinson, were sentenced to life in 2002 for grievously assaulting a child and not eligible for parole until 2031.
Lauren Kavanaugh’s half-sister regrets not having done enough to save her
Blake said, “I could tell she needed help. Everyone can tell right from wrong, and my heart tugged at how she was treated. She would talk to me, but it was almost like having a baby. ”She was also accused of failing to report to the police about things she knew and of not doing enough to save Lauren. Blake recalled those tragic memories and said, “I knew Kenny and Barbie had a lot of sex because we heard them, but I … I didn’t know what they were doing to her. They always turned up the music very loudly back there. Lauren screamed but I always thought they were going to hit her and all. She screamed a lot.
“All my life people have asked me why I didn’t do anything, why I lied. I only did what my parents told me to do. I’m afraid it makes me a terrible person for not helping, but when I think about it, there was nothing I could have done. I was scared to death of this woman. I didn’t want them to do what they did to me, “she added.
Lauren Kavanaugh was treated for depression following her rescue
Kavanaugh was adopted by Sabrina and her husband, Bill, a year after he was rescued. Sabrina revealed that Lauren’s road to normal has been bumpy, and years of psychotherapy and hundreds of doctor visits have contributed to her recovery. She had tantrums, night terrors, crying fits, and also attempted suicide a few times. She took medication for depression and bipolar disorder.