Why ‘Girl in the Closet' Lauren Kavanaugh’s Tragic Criminal Case Continues to Haunt Us

Add another gut-wrenching turn in the Lauren Kavanaugh story.A Denton County grand jury returned an indictment on three counts of sexual assault of a child against her after authorities say she admitted to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.The “girl in the closet,” who was the victim of one of the most horrific child abuse cases this country has ever seen, now tragically faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge of victimizing a child.This case haunts us like few others because it so deeply challenges our understanding of justice and mercy. We believe the priority in this case should be the innocent victim. But we can still have considerable compassion for Kavanaugh, too.We first met Kavanaugh, now 25, after she was rescued at age 8 from the closet of her family’s Hutchins mobile home. She’d been starved, tortured and sexually abused for six years by her mother and stepfather. She was so emaciated, police believed she was a toddler.After following her through her teenage years, we hoped she would somehow emerge from her horrific start in life to live as normal a life as possible. It rips at us that her life ahead piles tragedy upon tragedy.  Continue reading...

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