Inspired by film, woman buys billboard against alleged abuser

EMBED </>More Videos

A billboard is turning heads as a woman said she is trying to warn the public that her alleged abuser is living in western Massachusetts. (WLS)

A billboard on the Massachusetts Turnpike is turning heads as a woman said she is trying to warn the public that her alleged abuser is living in western Massachusetts.

She said that it's a public service announcement to those living in his community.

Kat Sullivan told Western Mass News that she was sexually assaulted when she was a high school senior at the Emma Willard School outside of Albany, NY.

The school never reported the incident to the police, her teacher was never charged.

When Sullivan got older, she tried to go to the police again, but the statute of limitations had run out, so she came up with another way.

After watching "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" - an Oscar nominated film - on an airplane, Sullivan got an idea.

On the side of the Mass. Pike in Chicopee, a billboard directs drivers to go to www.sexualpredatorsouthhadley.com.

"I was like yeah, I need to do this," Sullivan explained.

Speaking to Western Mass News via Skype, Sullivan explained that the website tells her story of surviving sexual assault and how she's trying to help other survivors, but most importantly, it serves as a warning to others.

"The billboards because I have no other recourse and this is a public safety service, honestly. My sexual predator lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts and there is no other way to warn people about the kind of person he is," Sullivan said.

Sullivan cannot name the man in her website as a stipulation to her contract with the billboard company, Lamar. However, after 28 days, when the billboards are no longer up, she said she will name him on her website.

"I feel like this is a conversation that society needs to have," Sullivan noted.

A man named by Sullivan in a Boston Globe investigation appears on the South Hadley Historical Commission's website.

Scott Sargent, according to South Hadley town administrator Mike Sullivan, tendered his resignation after media outlets contacted him regarding the billboards.

Sullivan told Western Mass News, "Mr. Sargent tendered a resignation to the chair of the historical commission on Thursday, March 22, 2018. His name will be removed from the website following his resignation being accepted at the April 3 selectboard meeting. We received this resignation after a request from the New York Times reporter to forward a message regarding placement of billboards."

Scott Sargent was not available to Western Mass News for comment.

Sullivan is trying to work with lawmakers in New York to pass the child victims act, a law that would extend the statute of limitations on child sex crimes. She said that since the billboards have been posted in western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, she has received messages from victims trying to get justice.
Related Topics:
rapesexual assaultvictimshighwaysu.s. & worldmovieMassachusetts