Former sex trafficking victim speaks out: 'I will never be that Anastasia that I was before'
Posted June 13, 2017 11:55 a.m. EDT
PORTLAND, OR — A teenage girl abused by convicted sex offender Anthony Curry is now sharing the story about how he put her to work as a stripper when she was just 15-years-old.
Curry is currently serving out a life sentence in prison.
Anastasia Galik is now 18-years-old and opening up publicly for the first time, now that she's ready to. A decision she's making to compel other girls in similar situations to get out of that lifestyle and get help.
Galik says when her time with Curry all came to an end, none of it felt real.
"I just turned around and the police cars had surrounded us," said Galik.
As officers walked toward her that day three years ago outside of the Sunset Strip in southwest Portland, Galik says she lost all feeling.
"I thought this is not really happening, I had no emotion, there was nothing going through me at the time," said Galik. "I couldn't feel happiness, nor relief, it was neither one, it was blank."
It was the end of a nightmare that began three months before.
"I think it's crazy that the girl I am now went for something like that, honestly it sounds impossible," Galik said.
That girl was barely 15 and battling depression. She coped by using drugs.
"I got involved in heavy drugs, street drugs, meth," she said.
Galik went to rehab but ran away. She lived off the street and got involved with a gang.
"I was actually waiting for the bus one day to go and get drugs when Anthony Curry rolled by in his car. Later, he rolled the window down and he made eye contact," Galik added.
She's not sure why she got in the car that day with Curry. It's a decision that haunts her.
"I am that girl who stayed in there, and at the time, I know it sucks to admit it, I could have left, but then who knows what would have happened if I did leave. If I didn't stay in the car, I could have been dead from the lifestyle I lived," Galik said.
The teen said Curry offered to take care of her and promised to make her rich.
"I bought all of that, you know, he was listening to me, and I thought 'oh my gosh, did God just reward me?'" Galik said.
The 15-year-old told Curry she was 17. He was 49 at the time. Galik had no clue she was about to go home with a convicted sex offender.
"At times, I don't understand how people can use up a child this bad. It makes me so angry, because I was only a child and he was a grown man. He just used and used and used me mentally, physically, emotionally."
Galik says Curry coerced her into becoming a stripper to make money. He bought her a fake ID and taught her what to do and say. She wasn't sure it would work, but it did. The teen says she was hired at various clubs around town, and eventually Stars Cabaret in Beaverton. Curry always waited outside.
"The first time I got money he was like 'oh my gosh, I'm so proud of you,' he would give me goals," said Galik. "He'd say, 'the next time you need to go make this amount,' then it got to $800 a night and he said 'once you do that every night we're set.'"
A manager at Stars recognized Galik weeks later as a girl listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website and called police.
Curry was arrested after he dropped Galik off at the Sunset Strip, the next club where he was hoping she'd work. Investigators also learned he posted explicit photos of Galik on Backpage.com. They believe he tried selling her to men in Portland and Seattle.
"By the time I was found, I was no longer Anastasia and I will never be that Anastasia that I was before," said Galik.
Curry was convicted on seven counts of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct and sentenced to life in prison under Oregon's three strikes law for sex offenders.
Galik is now earning her high school degree and working as a caregiver. She feels lucky, she escaped Curry with her life, one she's now living for herself.
"People like him still exist and they use innocent little girls that are just in a bad place," said Galik. "I just pray that if those girls are watching this and they're in a situation, that they can stand up and run away. There's a different life and they shouldn't accept that life."