What: UNK Criminal Justice Conference
When: March 13
Where: UNK Student Union, Ponderosa Room
9:15 to 10:45 a.m. – Alicia and Mary Kozakiewicz: “Alicia’s Story.”
11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Mason Bynum: “Managing a Critical Incident – The Abduction of Ethan”
1:30 to 3 p.m. – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
By TODD GOTTULA
KEARNEY – Alicia Kozakiewicz was bound with chains, tortured and raped repeatedly in a weapon-filled dungeon. She was 13.
The victim of an Internet predator in 2002, she was abducted outside her Pittsburgh home and held captive 250 miles away in Virginia before FBI agents rescued her four days later.
“I cry inside. I mourn for that child that was me. The child that was stolen from me,” Kozakiewicz said while testifying in Congress in 2007. “Make no mistake, that child was murdered. I know now that some parts of me are forever there. The child that I was is still chained in that room, still suffering.”
Kozakiewicz is the keynote speaker at this year’s Criminal Justice Conference at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She will speak at 9:15 a.m. on March 13 in the Ponderosa Room at the Nebraskan Student Union. The conference is free and open to the public.
In its 25th year, the event also includes a career fair for criminal justice majors. It is presented by the UNK Criminal Justice Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma, Criminal Justice Club and UNK Criminal Justice Department.
Other speakers include:
Mason Bynum – Bynum previously worked as a police officer in Auburn, Ala., and currently is an investigator with the Dale County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama.
On Jan. 29, 2013, Bynum and other Dale County Deputies were dispatched to a report of a man with a gun on a school bus. As deputies responded the bus driver was shot and killed, and suspect Jimmy Lee Dykes took a 5-year-old boy hostage in a bunker standoff that lasted six days. Bynum was the first deputy to locate and speak with Dykes.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Omaha – A certified explosive specialist and computer forensic investigator with the ATF will talk about investigating explosives, training bomb technicians and recovering electronically stored evidence.
In her keynote, Kozakiewicz will discuss her efforts to keep other children from traumatic experiences such as hers. Kozakiewicz formed “Alicia Project,” which provides Internet safety and awareness education for children, families, teachers, law enforcement, governmental and social agencies.
Her story has been featured by numerous national media outlets, and she participated in Internet safety films for the FBI, Pennsylvania Attorney General and others. Kozakiewicz also was the subject of “Alicia’s Message: I’m Here To Save Your Life” – an award-winning documentary for PBS – and the Emmy Award-winning “Alicia’s Story.”
Collaborating with four other young survivors, she also co-authored “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment,” a survival guide for returning abductees.
Alicia testified before Congress and lobbied successfully for the Protect Our Children Act of 2008 and Alicia’s Law, which provides money for real child rescue.
Kozakiewicz works with the FBI to train the National Academy as part of the “Youth Violence: Victims and Perpetrators” program. She also is a contributor to the Investigation Discovery television show.
“I’d like to ultimately become the person who rescues the child, and then helps to recover that child’s soul,” she says.
Source: Julie Campbell, 308.865.8566, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Todd Gottula, 308.865.8454, email@example.com