Her allegations brought down megachurch pastor Bruxy Cavey. Then the anonymous trolls came for her—for days.
When I went to interview the woman who accused the megachurch pastor of sexual abuse of her when she was a 13-year-old member of the church, I was wary. The woman, who is now a 20-year-old college student, was nervous and hesitant, and I thought she would be reluctant to talk to me. She had been through an ugly breakup. A year earlier, her boyfriend had dumped her after a few months of dating and she feared he was using her for sex. The pain of rejection had been too much to bear. But she agreed to talk because I was the one who helped the family of two sisters who were sexually abused by their pastor back in 2012. The girls had confided to me the details of their abuse. They said it was so bad they thought it would kill them. And I told them I would help them find their long-lost sisters and their family. I believed that if they told the story publicly, their story would break open people’s misconceptions about child sex abuse. And I didn’t have any doubt that their story would make a great film. The girl who wrote her memoir, I was told, is an actress working on a film project in which she will be portraying the abuse victim who spoke out publicly. Her mother, the woman who spoke with me, seemed like she was already on the brink of another breakdown. She sounded frightened and in over her head, and I didn’t doubt she would suffer from PTSD after the abuse happened. “I can’t go home to live with my mother and sister again,” she said in a soft, trembling voice, as I sat with her in her living room. “I thought she was going to take me on a road trip to visit my family, but even more horrifying is that she took my laptop.” She was referring to the laptop she left behind when she walked out of the church two years ago to live in a group home for people with mental health problems. The pastor would tell the family on a daily basis to never forget to bring her laptop every night and to use it to check in with her. There had been rumors going around about the pastor’s laptop being stolen and that they would see it at