-- Jordyn Ladell claims she was just 13 years old when Hollywood acting coach Cameron Thor allegedly sexually assaulted her.
Six years later, Thor is facing criminal charges for the alleged assault after Ladell, now 19, worked with authorities to get him arrested. She is telling her story about what she says happened to her when she was in the eighth grade.
“It doesn’t change. It’s never going to go away,” Ladell told ABC News’ “Nightline.” “It’s always going to be the place he raped me.”
Ladell was 12 years old when she said she and her mother Pattie Ladell met Thor. At the time, Ladell said she, her parents and her twin brother Josh had fallen on hard times and her mother was a struggling alcoholic.
“People came to repo the cars. Like, they would shut the power off,” Jordyn Ladell said. “My dad would walk two miles to bring us a lunch at school every day because he’d have to find money for that day to get us lunch.”
Pattie Ladell was going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held at a local bank and Jordyn said she tagged along for support. That is where they said Thor introduced himself.
“He is very intellectual, and he comes across very charismatic,” Pattie Ladell told “Nightline.” “I wanted to be like him actually.”
Jordyn said Thor offered her free acting lessons and said she could make money for her family as a young actress.
“He promised me that I would be able to help my parents. My mom would stay sober and that my parents would stay together if there was just no money problems, because they wouldn’t fight,” she said.
Jordyn said Thor allegedly offered to pay for her to get braces on her teeth, which she said Thor never followed up on.
“I had like a really bad gap in my two front teeth and the one was kind of crooked to the side,” she said. “And kids aren't nice in middle school, so people were really mean to me about it.”
“I just thought he really … liked her," Pattie Ladell added. "And thought she was a great kid and was trying to help her, and that’s all I ever thought."
Jordyn said Thor insisted that she take lessons his home instead of going to his studio, so that the other students wouldn’t find out she was taking his class for free.
When Jordyn and her mother went to Thor's home for the first time, Jordyn said he showed them around. Jordyn’s mother then went outside to sit in the car during the lesson, and that’s when Jordyn said Thor took her upstairs to a bedroom and shut the door.
“And then he was just really touchy. Like every time he had a conversation with me, it was like hand on my shoulder, hand on my leg, stuff like that,” Jordyn recalled. “He told me I make him hard. I didn’t say a word. I just stared at him. I didn’t really know what he was talking about.”
The lessons continued at Thor’s house while no one else was at home, Jordyn said, and each time, she claims Thor continued to touch her legs and hands.
“The third time, we went upstairs again, he locked the door, and he was even creepier,” Jordyn said. “Like just way more touchy, like weird.”
“Before I left, he said I had to give him a hug,” she continued. “So I gave him a hug and he like pressed his penis up against me and like whispered in my ear, You make me so hard. And I like, pulled away or whatever, and he wouldn’t let me pull away and he kept hugging me… And he wouldn’t let me leave. And he just kept saying, ‘No I can't go down there like this, your mom can't see me hard. Your mom can't see me hard.’”
Jordyn said she didn’t want to tell her parents what happened because she thought they would think it was her fault.
“Just because, that’s kind of how he put it, is that I make him hard,” she said. “I assumed I had to. I had to have done something. That it was my fault.”
But in March 2009, Jordyn, then in the eighth grade, said something happened that changed the course of her entire life. She said Thor picked her up from her house and took her to a nearby park.
“This is where he talked about really inappropriate things and asked me questions like if I’ve ever given head before, if I’ve ever been eaten out or had sex. And I answered no to all those questions,” she said. “And then this is when he took me to his car and took me up to the canyon.”
Jordyn said Thor then told her to ask her mother if they could go for a drive to Malibu. After some hesitation, Jordyn said her mom eventually relented, but instead of going to Malibu, Jordyn said Thor drove her to a remote spot on a quiet road at Encinal Canyon and parked the car.
“He pulled out like a vial of marijuana,” Jordyn said. “He was smoking, and he like rolled the windows up and had locked the car and had taken my cell phone also...I was frozen. I was just scared, terrified... I was lightheaded. I felt dizzy. I felt sick.”
That’s when she said he sexually assaulted her.
“He got on top of me and was kissing me. And he took that… black and white striped thing that I had on off and was kissing me and leaning over on me and was grabbing me, putting his hands in my shirt. And he undid my pants and put his finger in my pants,” she said.
Jordyn said she felt like she couldn’t get away because they were parked next to a mountain with a cliff on the other side.
But when she got home she was silent about what had allegedly occurred.
“He told me no one would believe me,” Jordyn said. “That if I told my parents, my mom would start drinking again.”
Jordyn said she saw Thor once more after that and then got the courage to tell her mother that she didn’t want to go to acting lessons anymore. But she said she remained silent for months about what she claims Thor allegedly did to her in the canyon.
Afterwards, Jordyn said her schoolwork suffered. Finally, about half a year later, Jordyn said she confided in her older teenage cousin, Karlie.
"It was really late,” Karlie said. “And we were just talking and I think I was telling her about a friend of mine who, something kind of inappropriate happened to her… and that’s kind of how Jordy matter of factly just brought up her experience, almost like it wasn’t a big … immediately I was like, ‘Wait what did you just say” And then she got kind of scared and realized that I was reacting.”
Karlie said she didn’t tell anyone what her cousin told her because she was afraid of betraying her trust.
“I had tried hunting her down over texting and Facebook. And she was ignoring me,” Karlie said. “So I tried and I tried and then finally I was like, ‘What do I do here?’ I guess I’m just going to have to risk her being mad at me.”
Karlie said she called her uncle, Jordyn’s father Dean Ladell, and told him what Jordyn had said.
“And she said do you remember when Jordyn was taking those acting lessons?” Dean Ladell said. “And I said yeah I think so… And she said something to the effect of, ‘well something very bad happened during those lessons.’ And I said, ‘what do you mean by that?’… And she said, ‘I think he did something very bad to Jordyn.’”
When he heard what had happened, Dean pulled Jordyn out of school for what he said was a “family emergency.”
“It was nice because I was terrified that they weren’t going to believe me, and I thought they were going to be mad at me. And they weren’t,” Jordyn said.
Her parents got her into therapy, but respected her wishes to not go to the police. Four years later, Jordyn had become a dance teacher and one night Pattie Ladell said she asked her daughter if she would want a student who had the same experience to also stay silent.
“I broke down right there, and that made me want to do something,” Jordyn said.
So Jordyn went to the police and agreed to be part of an attempted sting operation designed to get Thor to incriminate himself. Though she hadn’t spoken to Thor in years, she had to reach out to her alleged attacker through text message under the direction of law enforcement. The texting went on for months and eventually, detectives got Jordyn to arrange a meeting with Thor at a Starbucks.
“Seeing him for the first time in a while was gross,” she said. “It was really hard for me. I was like really scared about it days before.”
Detectives had bugged the table with a recording device, and Jordyn gathered what she said she thought was an admission from Thor at the time, and his defense lawyer disputes that. But detectives and the district attorney didn’t feel they had gathered enough evidence yet to arrest Thor, so they had Jordyn call Thor and speak to him while they secretly taped the conversation. Shortly after, detectives arrested him.
Thor was eventually released on bail and placed under house arrest, forced to wear an ankle bracelet.
In a statement to ABC News, Thor’s defense attorney James Blatt said that they feel “that it is important that his case be decided in a courtroom not in a television program” and that “at this time, there is a continuing, intensive investigation by the district attorney and the defense to determine the truth concerning these allegations. We are confident that after the investigations are completed, Mr. Thor will be exonerated.”
Jordyn, who first shared her story with the Hollywood Reporter, said navigating the criminal justice system has been a horrifying ordeal and telling her story hasn’t been easy. But no matter the outcome, she feels she’s done the right thing by coming forward.
“It’s, by far, the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life,” Jordyn said. “You have to do it for yourself. They victimized you, and you have to take that back. You have to go from being like a victim to a survivor."