Eight years ago, Acting Coach Cameron Thor carefully groomed twelve-year-old Jordyn Ladell. Eventually, he kidnapped, held her and raped her. He almost got away with it, but Cameron went to authorities and enabled them to record a confession.
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The guilty verdict ruled on by a jury this week puts the family’s long trial to rest. Ladell wasn’t an actor, but otherwise, the tactics Thor used are similar to those used to gain access to young actors in other settings.
Thor promised Jordyn free acting lessons and to pay the costs of her needed orthodonture. The acting classes took place in his home in 2009. Once he gained her trust, he took her out to the Santa Monica Mountains, forced her to smoke pot with him, and then sexually assaulted her. After the attack, he dumped her from the car and threatened her into silence. Terrified, she complied for several years, until finally going to the police. They planned a sting operation, using Jordyn to get his admission of the assault on tape, which was then used at trial.
The warning signs were obvious in retrospect, to anyone familiar with these types of tactics. The Ladell family was in turmoil. Her father had a series of financial set backs, the family had no money and her parents were fighting often. As a result, her mother began drinking heavily. At a low point, Jordyn’s mother began going to AA meetings, where they met Thor. He befriended the young girl and became a sort of father figure in her life. He quickly began using inappropriate comments, hugged and touched her in ways her mother might have found disturbing if she was paying attention. Eventually, the interactions led to Jordyn visiting his home, alone, for supposed acting classes.
His intentions now seem so obvious, reading the articles about how the relationship developed to the point that Jordyn’s mother allowed him dangerous and easy access to her child, but without understand how smoothly this happens, other parents, of both boys and girls, have also allowed strangers into their children’s lives. This trauma could be avoided by not allowing adults or much older teens to have access to children, especially in the name of acting. Yet, too often, parents are willing to let down their guards for a job or for entry into the field of professional acting.
Not all adults in the entertainment industry are child predators. But how is a parent to know who to trust and who to steer clear of? Bizparentz have been actively advising parents on Child Actor Safety for years. Read their articles and then join our conversation for more information on the Thor case and protecting children.