Oregon teen describes 'sextortion' that began in 7th grade

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by KGW staff

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

CLATSKANIE, Ore. -- An Oregon teen says she was blackmailed into sending naked pictures of herself to a former boyfriend and then suffered years of torment from him and others, including sexual assault.

The teen has since moved to central Oregon and said she is now sharing her story so that other victims won’t feel alone if they’re trapped in similar situations.

Josi Harrison, 15, said the trouble started when she was 12 years old and her 13-year-old boyfriend told her she was a terrible girlfriend if she didn’t send him a nude picture.

He then started harassing and threatening her, and demanding more sexually explicit photos, according to court documents. Harrison says the boy’s friends also started harassing her. And investigators say one of them sexually assaulted her in a city park.

That boy initially faced charges of attempted rape. He later admitted to lesser charges of harassment and public indecency. Harrison says reporting the assault only made things worse for her.

“It eventually turned into me getting shoved into lockers, told that I didn't belong there, that I should just leave," she said. "I just felt like I was in a show that I couldn't break out of."

The Harrison family is now suing three boys for assault and infliction of emotional distress, two other teens for bullying, and the parents of all five. But the attorney for one of the defendants claims Harrison is not telling the whole truth.

"I can tell you that the vast majority of allegations as they're related to my client are simply overblown, or taken completely out of context and once the true context is played out in court, it's going to be quite different than what Ms. Harrison & her family have been claiming,"  said Steven Sherlag.

Harrison has started a foundation called Josi’s Journey for other girls and she hopes to start up a crisis line for girls to call and get help.

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KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.

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