In a heart-wrenching Reddit AMA, a woman, who was raped in captivity for weeks while police were just a few feet away, has revealed how her nightmarish sexual assault began when she was just two years old.
Katie Beers' harrowing ordeal – how she was kidnapped by her family friend when she was nine years old and kept as a "sex slave" in an underground dungeon for almost 17 days – made shocking headlines in the past. But there's more to her horrifying account as Beers, now 34 years old, broke her silence on the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of her godmother's husband.
In 1992, on the pretext of buying her a birthday gift, John Esposito took a young Beers captive to subject her to days of sexual assault.
During the period, she was held in a concrete bunker – hidden by a linoleum floor and 200lbs of concrete – in complete darkness for almost three weeks.
And the only access to this makeshift dungeon, which was inside a closet, was obscured by a bookcase.
Ironically, while Beers' captor assaulted her for weeks, police had set up a command post on Esposito's lawn, just a few yards away from the underground bunker. But there were little chances her screams were heard.
And 25 years since that brutal experience, Beers is now recounting her horrific memories on Reddit as she explained that her years of sexual assault began much earlier and in her home.
"I should have been in foster care from the time that I was 2 or even younger," Beers said on Thursday, 28 December, during the Ask Me Anything session. "I was sexually abused by my 'aunt's' husband from the time that I was 2 until I was abducted by a 'family friend' when I was almost 10."
She continued, "I was also physically, emotionally and verbally abused by all of the adults who were supposed to take care of me as well as neglected.
"CPS (Child Protective Services) did come to the house to do interviews with me, but it's difficult to be truthful with CPS workers when they're interviewing you in the house where the abuse is occurring in the exact room where it was occurring," added Beers, whose book Buried Memories recounted her abduction and even made it to The New York Times best-selling memoir list.
Following her ordeal in the hands of her 'godmother' Linda and Salvatore Inghilleri – and after her rescue from the clutches of Esposito – Beers was put in the care of a foster family in East Hampton. And, according to her, it was her foster family who gave her the stability and helped her recover.
"I realised that my childhood shaped who I was and that I shouldn't try to distance myself from it," Beers said. "I hope that one day, after enough survivors have the courage to speak about their abuse, that there will no longer be a 'stigma' associated with surviving."