Child Sex Assault Victim Wants Tougher Laws in Colo.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. In 1972, a young girl's life was changed forever on her 11th birthday. "He asked us where a gas station was, so we gave him directions, and then he got out and told us he had puppies in the car. He pulled a gun out on us and pushed us in the motor home," said Annabelle Miglia, one of the two girls. They were sexually assaulted by the man and then the nightmare grew worse. "We were both shot twice. I thought my friend was laying real still playing dead, and in fact, she had died," said Miglia. Shari Zen, executive director of the Western Slope Center for Children, said, "Children shouldn't be hurt in this way. They shouldn't experience those kinds of horrible acts." "I remember every detail of it," said Miglia. Forty years later, Miglia is a survivor. She advocates for stronger laws in Colorado, among them Jessica's Law. "My fear is if Colorado doesn't get stronger sentencing for child predators, this will be a haven for them," she said. Miglia also hopes to see Senate Bill 198 pass in the state. The measure pushes for a closed court when child sex assault victims take the stand. "One of the purposes of the bill is to reduce the re-victimization of a child," said Zen. "It is very very intimidating and scary when your that little. My feet didn't even touch the floor when I sat in the chair," Miglia said. Joan Mulleady, a therapist, said, "The bill would add another layer of protection that they very much deserve." Possibly easing some of their pain. "They are courageous when they come forward and talk about horrendous things that have happened to them," Zen said. "Any bill that supports protecting children in situations like this is crucial," said Mulleady. Miglia's survival was nothing short of a miracle. She hopes her story will help others see that no matter how dark things get there's always light at the end of the tunnel. Miglia wrote a book in order to share her story with others, it's called Footsteps out of Darkness. To learn more about the book or to purchase it, click here.