RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - As she tears open brand new boxes, Stephanie Walker opens a new chapter in her life. Her hashtag "I am no longer silent" says it all.
Last month, a former high-ranking prison officer was sentenced because she found the strength to speak up about him sexually assaulting her while she was behind bars. She said a family member's false accusation against her led to a felony charge. She got a two-year sentence at the Emanuel Women's Facility in Swainsboro, Georgia.
"And after being there about a month or two, that's when things took a turn," said Stephanie Walker, a sexual assault survivor turned activist.
There, she said she was forced to work with then corrections officer, Edgar Daniel Johnson, who violated her for years.
"I worked in there, so just about any chance he'd get. The rape happened on two occasions," Stephanie recalled.
Once free, she said Johnson constantly called, trying to intimidate her.
"It got to the point to where every morning before he would go inside the facility on his way to work, he would place a call to me," she said.
Stephanie strategically gathered evidence that led to his arrest. In 2017 Johnson admitted he had non-consensual sex with three female inmates, more than once and he's accused of preying on many more. According to the Department of Justice, he pleaded guilty to three counts of willfully depriving the inmates of their Eighth Amendment rights under color of law, three counts of obstruction for coercing the women to cover up the assaults, and one count of maliciously conveying false information about explosive materials. Court documents show he admitted to coercing each of the inmates to cover up the assaults after the fact to help him avoid detection by investigators. Johnson also admitted that on May 3, 2017, he used a cellular telephone to call Southside Fire Department in Chatham County, Georgia to falsely report a bomb threat at Elba Island. He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison in 2018 and must register as a sexual offender once he's released.
Now, with her new movement, Stephanie want to help people who've gone through similar situations.
"I wanna be able to go back into the prison system and take it a little beyond Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) with the hashtag 'no longer silent". Speaking to let them know that you have a voice out here," she stressed.
Stephanie's goal is to remind sexual assault survivors that strength comes when you break your silence.
"Seeing justice gave me a purpose, seeing justice gave me a purpose," she said through tears.
A purpose she plans to spend her life fighting for.