Woman Confronts Abuser on Camera

Something happened to Celesta Davis when she was 5 years old that made her feel like a victim all her life -- distrustful, depressed and powerless to move beyond the pain.

Then one day she heard news about a man from her troubled past.

"I was driving with a friend, and I heard it on the news, on the radio," Celesta told "Primetime." "His son had been ... arrested for 16 counts of molesting kids."

That news made her remember a man who we will identify as "Bill," a close friend of her family when Celesta was growing up. He's also the man who she says sexually molested her and her sister 25 years ago.

Hearing about Bill's son triggered Celesta's worst fears -- that there were other victims.

"I immediately called my sister and my mom, and we started talking about it and we knew we had to do something," she said.

They had talked about confronting Bill before, but as far as pressing criminal charges, the statute of limitations had run out.

After hearing about Bill's son, Celesta, her sister, Karen, and mom, Ellen, convened a family meeting.

"I think honestly we all want to know, is he still a predator? So we can protect other people," Karen said.

That night, the women decided on a plan, one that Celesta began videotaping from that moment on.

Can't 'Get Over It'

Before confronting her abuser, Celesta realized it could be psychologically traumatic, and so visited a therapist and recounted the initial abuse.

"We were at a family party," she recalled. "I guess it was right after I'd turned 5 and everyone was having a barbecue in the backyard. And, um, and then I remember [Bill] just saying he had something to show me and taking me to the house and um, took me into their bedroom, and um, forced me to perform oral sex on him. And then that was it."

It was only one instance of abuse but experts say once is enough to cause lifelong trauma. People have told her she should "just get over it."

"People do and I think I said that to myself a lot, I've said, you should just get over this ... it's not that big a deal," Celesta said. "And yet, it's impacted every aspect of my life and you know, changed everything. ... I mean, I never knew anything but what this man had taught me about my own sexuality. That was one of the first things I remember in my whole life."

And there was more. After the abuse happened, Celesta told her mother and father what had happened. They believed her, but incredibly, they didn't end the friendship with Bill. Celesta and her sister had to go on seeing the man who abused them.

Celesta and Karen have wondered many times why their parents allowed that. In part, they blame the times.

As Karen said to her mother in a therapy session, "I think there was a dynamic between you and dad and the decade of the '70s that was saying, just keep going. Pretend like nothing happened. Act like everything's normal and then maybe it will be. And you know that went along with your protective instincts, so that was the thing to do."

Celesta and Karen are more angry with their father, who died several years ago and who always refused ever to talk to them about the abuse.

Celesta said her mother's remorse is clear. "It's hard to explain the regret that I see in her," she said. "She's a victim, too, in a way. You know this was her very good friend that betrayed her trust."

The three women had to lean on each other to get through the emotional ups and downs of the coming confrontation.

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