Ashley Billasano, a distraught 18 year old high school student with at least 500 TWITTER followers took her life AFTER she sent a series of shocking messages. No one stopped her. No one called the authorities.
“I went to the bathroom and locked the door,” 18-year-old Ashley Billasano tweeted.
“I took apart a razor. I did what I had to do to forget. I swear after that night I was never the same.”
Billasano told her painful story through the popular social networking site, Twitter. Soon after, she had committed suicide.
In her 144 tweets over 6 hours, Billasano allegedly claimed that she had been molested by a family member and forced into prostitution. She also detailed her unsuccessful attempt at seeking justice.
“It is my understanding she made an outcry apparently a year ago in Williamson County up close to Austin about some allegations of sexual abuse,” Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department Chief Craig Brady told FOX News. “My understanding, that was looked into the sheriff’s office there, the D.A’S office and a grand jury. There was no indictment issued.”
Close friend Ashly Escamilla told the Houston Chronicle that Billasano’s death was the high schooler’s last attempt to be heard.
“This wasn’t random. She planned this for a reason. She made a decision that this was what she was going to do to get attention if she was not going to get justice.”
Billasano’s mother, Tiffany Ruiz Leskinen, told the paper that being denied help from authorities was too much for her daughter to cope with.
“The detective told her that she had trouble believing her,” her mother told the Houston Chronicle. “Here is someone who has been abused and is forced to be silent for so long. Then the one person you go to looking for help says they might not believe you. The CPS caseworker was a rookie right out of college. She did not know anything and kept saying she had to check with her supervisor.”
According to the Austin-Statesman, Billasano’s Twitter account was taken down.
An important question, as ABC news noted, is why none of Billasano’s 500 followers called the police, or reached out to help her.
Some people on Facebook and Twitter are wondering why the media are focusing on the 500 Twitter followers who did not do anything. They feel that Texas Children’s Protective Services did not do their job.
The group administrator of a Facebook group, Stop Mental Child Abuse, posted this: “IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TWEETS, IT’s WHY DIDN’T TEXAS CPS DO SOMETHING? 18 years of reported abused and they did nothing! Media only reports on why didn’t twitter friends do something, but the real story is why didn’t CPS do something in 18 years?”
On her last day Ashley Billasano tweeted ‘Weeks passed, then I got the call. They said sorry but there isn’t enough evidence I hung up.’
‘That’s when I changed. I didn’t care anymore and the people I was meeting gave me no reason to.’
Police said they didn’t want a lot of detail about her death to be published to avoid encouraging copy cats, but said it might not be the first time the teen had tried to take her own life.
Authorities believe this was not the first time she had attempted suicide. She had learned the method on the Internet.
The Pennsylvania Legislature is likely to pass a child sex abuse reporting law by the end of the year in reaction to the Penn State University scandal, Governor Tom Corbett said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, 67, was charged Nov. 5 with the sexual assault of eight boys from 1994 to 2009. Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have also been arrested on charges that they failed to notify authorities after being told about an incident of sexual abuse in 2002 and that they lied about it to a grand jury.
At that time, a graduate assistant reported seeing Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy, the grand jury says. The assistant, Mike McQueary, testified that he reported the incident to head coach Joe Paterno, who notified Schultz and Curley.
University president Graham B. Spanier and Paterno were fired last week by the university’s board of trustees. The legendary coach has not been charged, but the state police commissioner had cited a lapse of “moral responsibility” for not doing more to stop Sandusky. Corbett said on Fox News Sunday that the Board members fired Paterno and school President Graham B. Spanier “because they lost confidence in their ability to lead.”
Over the last year, Kiss said the federal Department of Education has started to enforce the Clery Act more by reviewing complaints and auditing university crime statistics.
But compliance with the act varies among universities, Kiss said.
Penn State reported nine forcible sex offenses on its main campus in 2008, eight in 2009, and five in 2010, according to the Department of Education.
Categories: Child Abuse Laws Tags: child sex abuse, clery act, crime, department of education, football coach, fox news sunday, governor, governor tom corbett, graham spanier, grand jury, jerry sandusky, joe paterno, meet the press, mike mcqueary, nbc, penn state, pennsylvania, rape, reporting law, sexual assault, tim curly, university