HOUSTON (KTRK) --A decision a Houston woman made ten years ago as a teenager has haunted her ever since.
"When you're 16, you don't think about people being bad and you don't think about people betraying you," said the woman, who's now 25 and asked to remain anonymous. "Never in a million years, did I think 10 years later I'd still be dealing with it."
At 16, she sent explicit photos and videos of herself to a man she met while playing video games online. Often gamers talk to each other. Casual conversation via instant messaging quickly turned more intimate. Though the two never met in person, she thought she was in a relationship with him and that he was someone she could trust.
However, for a decade, she says, he's been using the photos and videos against her.
"It went from enjoyable banter fairly quickly to controlling relationship. He started needing to know where I was at all times. He started threatening if I don't send more photos or videos, then he would send the previous photos and videos to everyone I know. I was afraid and ashamed and I didn't know what could be done about it," she said.
The constant control lasted two years. In 2009, she tried paying him off. She went to college and got a Masters degree, but the threat still loomed.
Earlier this year, she says the man made good on his promise. He sent photos to her husband, who was already aware of the situation. Now she is fighting back. She plans to sue the man.
Eyewitness News has confirmed Houston Police Department's Sex Exploitation Unit is actively working the case. She also plans to sue the man.
"The only mistake she made was that she trusted this person," said Joe Mathew, a prominent "revenge porn" attorney. "It takes a lot of courage to do what she's done, to stand up and say 'I want my life back.'"
HPD advises against sending anything to another person you wouldn't feel comfortable showing a relative or employer. Those who feel they're victims, should contact their local law enforcement agency.
"I definitely want some justice from this, for all the suffering he's caused me," she added. "I'm still dealing with it now. He needs to pay for this."