After helping law enforcement officials bring an admitted predator to justice, a teenage girl in Wisconsin is speaking out in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of unmonitored internet use.
News station WITI in Milwaukee spoke with the girl — now 13 — and her mother about how William Kramer, 49, initiated an online relationship with the girl last spring.
According to court records, Kramer eventually attempted to get the 12-year-old girl to board a flight to his home in Louisiana.
In late May, Kramer was arrested by Louisiana authorities on one count of computer aided solicitation of a minor and seven counts of indecent behavior with juveniles, PEOPLE confirms.
In October, he pleaded guilty to those charges, admitting he’d had sexual conversations online with a minor and offered to pay her to visit him for sex. He’ll be sentenced on Jan. 21.
Speaking to WITI, the girl said she “couldn’t necessarily fully comprehend” what was happening in those conversations with Kramer.
“He would tell me that I’m pretty, that he loved me, that he cared, that he would accept me no matter what,” the girl explained.
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Her mom told the station she believes Kramer took advantage of her daughter’s vulnerabilities.
“She did not have a loving father figure in her life,” the woman said. “I believe she was looking for the support of an older male.”
The girl and her mother helped investigators in May, after the mom learned of the illicit online interactions.
“He started talking to her about coming down there, finding a way to come down there, or that he would even come up here to get her,” the girl’s mother told WITI. “We saved many people and probably many future victims of this happening.”
The girl advises others her age to be cautious while online.
“If you end up doing something wrong, do tell your parents or somebody you trust,” she said. “There are dangers out there, and we all need to acknowledge it, whether we’re parents or not.”