ABC News’ Katti Gray reports:
A Tampa, Fla., sexual assault victim, refusing to remain anonymous or shoulder any embarrassment, this week confronted the teen who was convicted of attacking her in a parking garage two years ago, ABC affiliate WTFS reported.
“I’m not the victim, I’m the victor,” said Heidi Damon, standing face-to-face and addressing Jovon Cooper. “What you have done to me is unforgivable. So, don’t expect me — 20, 30, 40, 50 years or on my deathbed — to ever say ‘I forgive you.’”
ABC News and other news organizations typically do not reveal names of those who’ve been sexually assaulted, but, at her request, Damon’s confrontation was videotaped Thursday.
Sentenced to 15 years in prison and 10 years probation, Cooper was 16 years old when he attacked Damon, choking her until she blacked out. When Damon woke up, she was naked from the waist down but had not been raped.
Still, she said, the trauma gave her chronic headaches, kept her out of work for a year and stole her sense of security.
“So many times, victims hide under their covers, and no one gets helped by that,” she said. “And if I don’t talk, how can I help somebody?”