NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – At first glance it may look like many of the other videos posted on YouTube, but it’s definitely not. A Fort Worth woman is using the video sharing website to go public about a painful incident in her past and now she’s facing harsh criticism from her own family because of it.
“We are doing this – it’s something that’s very important to me. It’s about something that happened to me,” explained Mara Johnson.
Johnson isn’t hiding anymore. She’s talking about what happened to her when she was just a young girl.
An excerpt from the documentary shows her saying, “For years I was ashamed about it.”
Johnson was molested at12 years old and pregnant at 13. The father of her child was her cousin, Earnest Lawson, who last year was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.
“The abuse itself it’s painful,” said Johnson, “but the fact that I had a child and she is no longer with me and I don’t have that family time. I don’t get to spent birthdays with her…that was taken away from me.”
Johnson said she was forced to give her baby girl up for adoption.
To this day she says the decision is her biggest regret.
“I feel sorry for me then, but I can’t attach fully to everything I went through because there is too much pain there.”
For Johnson the YouTube video was her release. But now her family is trying to get her to remove it.
“They don’t want people to know this happened,” she said.
Johnson is fighting to keep the video up and said she’s using it to help herself cope with what happened 15 years ago.
She states her purpose clearly during the documentary saying, “Putting the word out about what happened to me in hopes to help other people and also in hopes to get justice for myself.”
The battle to display her video is currently her only fight. This week Johnson got another blow. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office told her they would be offering her abuser, Earnest Lawson, a plea deal –-probation.
“I feel like I was victimized for the second time,” Johnson said.
CBS 11 News wanted to talk to the DA about the case but was told since it is a pending case they can’t discuss it.
Lawson’s attorney also turned down a request for an interview.
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