Nanny-Rape Victim Fights for Homeless Predators
Abuse victim protects children by finding homes for Miami's sex offenders.
Oct. 12, 2009— -- For six years, Lauren Book-Lim was tortured by the woman she both feared and trusted -- her nanny. Waldina Flores ruled the little Florida girl's life, alternately showering her with affection and then beating and raping her.
The molestation began when Book-Lim was 11. Angry that she was chewing gum, the woman whom the little girl affectionately called "Waldy" stuck her tongue in the little girl's mouth to remove it.
The abuse escalated from there, whenever the little girl did not cooperate.
"She used objects or hands or whatever she could get," Book-Lim, now 24, told ABCNews.com. "She pushed me down the stairs. And at one point she defecated on me."
In 2002, at the age of 17, she broke away from Flores, who was ultimately sentenced to 25 years for her sex crimes.
But today, Book–Lim has come face to face with her demons and her conscience, helping homeless sex offenders at Miami's notorious Julia Tuttle Causeway find a legal place to live.
There, scores of convicted molesters live in rat-infested squalor because of child protection laws Book-Lim helped to enact -- ordinances that prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools and playgrounds.
Book-Lim is convinced that if sexual predators live in inhumane conditions, they are an even greater danger to children.
"We don't want anyone living under a bridge to be so desperate they reoffend," said Book-Lim.
"She wants to heal as many people as she possibly can," said her father, Ron Book, who shares his daughter's work as a board member of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust. "She is so special, she makes me cry."
The first day volunteering on the job, Book-Lim said she felt "smacked in the face" when she met a man had molested an 8-year-old.
"I had a hard time reconciling this in my head," said Book-Lim. "But I want to prevent it from happening to other children. Yes, they are sex offenders, but that doesn't mean they have to live like this."
"I grew up to trying to help others," she said. "My Dad used to say, the least, the last and forgotten of our society -- it's our job to take care of them."