Where is Lauren Kavanaugh today? The real girl in the closet’s life in recent years

Lauren Kavanaugh

On June 11, 2001, Lauren Kavanaugh was rescued from her parent’s closet. She was eight years old but was so emaciated that she weighed only 25 pounds. It turned out that she was a victim of horrific abuse at the hands of her mother and stepfather for six years. The only time she was taken out of the closet was to be sexually assaulted.

Experts believed that it would be next to impossible for Lauren to lead a normal life ever again. Although she had her fair share of difficulties, she managed to make considerable progress in coping with her trauma. But Lauren found herself on the other side of the law in 2019 when she was arrested for sexual assault of a minor.

Lauren Kavanaugh was indicted on three counts of sexual assault of a child – She was later set free

After she was rescued, Lauren was permanently adopted by Sabrina and Bill Kavanaugh, who were also her original adoptive parents. The Kavanaughs had adopted and raised Lauren as an infant until her biological mother Barbara Calhoun attained custody of her due to a legal loophole in the adoption process.

Lauren received therapy, went to school, and was getting better but her progress unraveled when she was raped by her cousin’s husband in August 2005. She was 12 years old at the time of that incident.

Over the years, she struggled with substance abuse, clinical depression, and multiple suicide attempts. Lauren graduated high school at 20 years old in 2013 and enrolled at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas where she took remedial reading and writing classes.

In 2018, Lauren became sexually involved with a minor who was 11 years her junior. She met the 14-year-old girl on Facebook through the now-deleted page called The Lauren Kavanaugh Story, where she reached out to victims of abuse and shared her story.

At one point, Lauren had even moved in with the girl and lived in her family’s home. She was later arrested for sending the girl sexually explicit messages and was indicted on three counts of sexual assault of a child, standing to face 20 years in prison for each charge.

Lauren remained in custody for more than a year but was found mentally incompetent to attend the trial and was committed to a mental health institution in September 2020 on court orders. She also faced additional charges for assaulting and harassing a public servant but the district attorney decided not to persecute her for that.

Moreover, all the sexual assault charges against Lauren were eventually dropped after a collaborative effort by the district attorney’s office and experts. She was released from Denton County jail on October 6, 2021, and sent for treatment. Lauren now lives in Canton, Texas with her adoptive parents.

“I don’t want to be like my parents. That’s my focus. I have that fear of turning out like them because every day I feel it. I have that rage inside like my mother. The only difference is, I’m trying to control it,” said Lauren in an interview.