One survivor of sexual abuse is closer to closure after a gut-wrenching phone call posted on YouTube. Twenty-eight-year-old Jamie Carillo accused her middle school basketball coach, Andrea Cardosa, of sexually abusing her starting at the age of 12. The call and video led to Cardosa's resignation as assistant principal at Alhambra High School in California. Carillo says her ordeal lasted until she was 20 years old. The Alhambra Police Department is investigating.
Carillo's video is painful to watch. Even before she says so, you can tell her heart is pounding, waiting to say those first words to the woman who, as she put it, ruined her childhood. Cardosa immediately admits to the abuse over the phone -- but she never apologizes.
As much as I feel for Carillo, who seems genuinely in anguish, the video does worry me a little. It's a big deal to accuse someone of sexual abuse, record their confession, and post it on the Internet. The action could in some ways backfire on Carillo. Cardosa could sue for defamation.
But that aside, I think Carillo's confrontation is incredibly brave. Imagine how long it would have taken her to build up the courage to make that phone call -- all the times she must have rehearsed what she would say to her alleged tormentor. That Cardosa was promoted from teacher to assistant principal and is still working with teens is disturbing. What if she's been abusing other students in the meantime? Carillo says having children of her own motivated her to want to stop Cardosa from abusing anyone else.
Carillo's lawyers say they're exploring a civil lawsuit. Meanwhile, Cardosa has gone into hiding. And while she does say she regrets what she did to Carillo, she didn't say she was sorry. Carillo may never get that bit of closure. But it must be satisfying to know she made her alleged abuser answer to her crimes in some way, and let Cardosa know how deeply the abuse wounded her. What if every victim of abuse could confront their predator? I wonder if that would be a stronger deterrent even than the possibility of a prison term.
Is Jamie justified in publicly outing her alleged abuser? What do you think will happen to the case?
Image via Jamie X/YouTube