Former Sherman runaway recounts days before she was found
The teens ran away from a facility claiming to help kids deal with childhood trauma.
Now, 18-year-old Emma Stokes is learning how to live her life as an adult. She says at 16, she ran into difficulties at school and at home.
“I would say yes, my sexuality and the fact that I wasn’t complying and doing things the way they wanted me too,” said Stokes.
Stokes identifies as lesbian. She thought she was being sent to a retreat for her depression.
“Mountain side, horseback riding, skiing- being in Colorado I was excited,” Stokes said.
She quickly realized the place she was going, was not what she thought. She says it was a conversion camp, aimed at ‘curing’ her sexuality, and she felt like she had to get away.
“Me running away from this facility was not an act of rebellion, the breaking point for me was eating raw chicken and throwing up, and then getting punished for throwing up.”
Stokes says she and another teenager, Anna Frankman, whom she says she didn’t know beforehand, ran away together.
“We just ran, ran for 10 miles before we were picked up off the side of the highway,” said Stokes.
Stokes told News 12 they were picked up by a stranger, who held them in his apartment for 11 days, with other young girls. She claims the man drugged, and sexually assaulted the girls before turning them in to police.
She says the original narrative that they were found at a park by a girl who took them home, is false.
“First, I thought he was being a father figure and I hadn’t ever had anything like that, but then it quickly turned into ‘I’m going to take advantage of these 16 year old’s.”
Stokes moved back to Texas to be with her now girlfriend, with the hopes of going to college to become a psychologist to help struggling teens.
“A lot of the reason why I’m still here is because of her. She’s showed me what true love is, how to care for someone,” said Stokes.
Colorado court records show the man accused of sexually assaulting the girls is facing a slew of charges in the state, including rape.
News 12 reached out to Emma’s parents and they responded with this:
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