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Sexual abuse victim sues Netflix over 2013 documentary Sexual abuse victim sues Netflix over 2013 documentary
  • A sex abuse victim from Colorado is suing Netflix for broadcasting photos and information about her in a 2013 documentary
  • Now a stay-at-home mother in Colorado, 'Jane Roe' is in federal court asking for 'in excess of $100,000' in damages for the 'tremendous humiliation' she suffered
  • In the controversial film 'Tricked', one of the investigating officers, Denver police sergeant Daniel Steele, discusses the case 
  • Steele insinuates Jane returned to prostitution after she was abused, saying: 'Of course she's going to go back to what she's used to'
  • Jane's attorneys say Steele's statements are false and her personal information was private because she was a minor at the time she was abused

The 14-year-old wears a cheery red shirt with her hair tucked behind her ears, a baby in her arms.

A series of similar photos flick past in the documentary: the girl with the baby, peering down at her child protectively, the duo together in front of a white board filled with upcoming activities.

These seemingly innocuous pictures, featured in the 2013 Netflix movie 'Tricked', are now at the center of a sensitive legal battle between the entertainment streaming company and a victim of sexual abuse from Colorado.

The girl in the photos, referred to simply as 'Jane Roe' in court documents, is suing Netflix and Three Generations - the production company that released the film - for using her real first name and personal photos in the documentary, which highlights the inner workings of human trafficking and prostitution across the country. 

According to the documents obtained by DailyMail.com, 'Jane' is seeking 'in excess of $100,000' in damages. 

 

In a Netflix documentary titled 'Tricked', Sergeant Daniel Steele of the Denver Police Department gives details about the criminal case against Jane's abusers and how he came to know the then 14-year-old

 

Steele (pictured here with Jane and her daughter) said in the film: 'Of course she's going to go back to what she's used to,' insinuating that Jane had returned to prostitution

Now at least 18 years old, Jane and her attorneys are arguing that because she was the victim of a sexual crime, her name and identity should not have been released to the public.

They claim that none of her private information or history was available from any public source before the documentary was filmed.

In August of 2016, Jane realized she was a focus of the documentary when a relative told her about the film. 

Sergeant Daniel Steele of the Denver Police Department, one of the investigating officers in the case, is filmed giving details about the criminal case against Jane's abusers and how he came to know the young teenager. 

'We'd had a girl that my wife and I were mentoring named [Jane], who was actually the same age as my eldest daughter,' Steele said.

'[Jane] was 14 years old and she started living with her mother, who was a drug addict, and mom decided that it would be a good idea to have her daughter start giving blow jobs and having sex and hand jobs to local drug dealers to get drugs for free.'

Eventually, she was taken out of the custody of her mother and placed in the foster care system. Steele hoped Jane, and her infant daughter, would be able to 'succeed' and 'move on' from her tough upbringing by being a part of his family.

Steele said: 'We welcomed Jackie into our home, she spent Christmas with my family. I cared a lot for her.

 

The police sergeant got emotional during several points of filming, saying that he and his family hoped to adopt Jane but were blocked by social services

 

 Steele (pictured here with his family) said Jane's mother was a drug addict and forced her daughter to give sexual favors to local drug dealers

'For some reason, there's a lot of animosity between social services and the police department. There was distrust from the start of me, what my motivations were. We were told what was best for Jackie was not to be with us.

'I mean she was a kid, and she's been trounced on her whole life and treated like s**t her whole life, and of course she's going to go back to what she's used to.

'I tried to save her and I couldn't save her, and coming to the realization that you can't save all of them is hard. There's always at least one, and it's really hard when you try to do everything you can for them and they still fail.

'If she called me today and said, "Hey, I f***ed up, and I got involved in this environment," I will go help her. If she was locked up again, I would go visit her again,' Steele said in the film, choking up at several moments.

Despite Steele's emotional testimony, Jane said she suffered 'tremendous humiliation' after watching the documentary. Her full name was used in the final credits, along with the series of photos. 

'The statements that Steele made were not only false and defamatory [referring to Jane 'going back to what she was used to', i.e. prostitution], but Plaintiff's name and identity were of a private nature. Plaintiff was a victim of sexual crimes as a minor,' court documents filed by Jane's attorneys stated.

 

In other scenes of the documentary, Steele is shown arresting various pimps accused of abusing women and gathering evidence with other police officers

 In one shot, police officers count a stack of bills and other items - including a roll of condoms - seized from a pimpIn one shot, police officers count a stack of bills and other items - including a roll of condoms - seized from a pimp 

In one shot, police officers count a stack of bills and other items - including a roll of condoms - seized from a pimp

Jane goes on to describe how the film has affected her personally. 

'Having my identity and personal details exposed in the documentary Tricked has caused me severe anxiety and grief. I fear further public disclosure of my identity and the abuse I suffered as a minor.

'I believe that the publicity of these allegations will cause me to be re-traumatized and endure the same emotional turmoil I originally experienced as a victim of these crimes. The thought causes me severe stress and anxiety.

'I fear the possible impact on my daughter if the details of my abuse become public. My daughter is not old enough to understand what happened to me, and I fear my daughter will learn of what happened to me from some other source.

'I fear that my daughter will endure significant emotional distress if she learns of the way in which I was victimized as a child. 

'I am currently a stay-at-home mother, but someday would like to obtain an education and a career. I fear that I will not be able to obtain employment if the information revealed in Tricked becomes more widely known to the public,' Jane wrote. 

In other scenes of the documentary, Steele is shown arresting various pimps accused of abusing women and gathering evidence with other police officers. Several named former prostitutes also give their own personal take on the damaging industry.

Jane is seeking actual damages, emotional distress damages and all legal fees in a trial by jury. DailyMail.com has decided not to disclose the name of the victim. 


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Larry Whyte
Larry Whyte

He is a leading authority on business trends including ‘big data’, self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. He has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world .

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