Woman says fashion photographers preyed on her

Posted at 6:38 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 21:38:49-05

A woman is suing a local modeling school and two independent photographers who she says preyed on her when she was a teenager.

"As a kid, I was excited," said Janine Kyser.

Kyser was 14 years old and had big dreams of getting discovered. So, she attended Barbizon Modeling in Mission Valley.

"They will find you jobs after you graduate," she said.

After graduating, Kyser said the school sent her to two independent photographers in Bonita.

"They got a rapport with me. They made me feel like they cared about me," said Kyser.

Then, things turned criminal.

"He had sex with me. His girlfriend had sex with me. It was sexual intercourse and it was all videotaped," she said.

Kyser kept her silence until her mom received a call from Barbizon telling her those photographers had been arrested for sexually assaulting another child.

"When I told my mother, she was in denial," said Kyser. "She didn't want to believe it happened to me."

All these years, Kyser buried it. She decided to break her silence a year and a half ago when she thought about her own daughter. She researched the photographers and found out they skipped bail.

"It has torn me to pieces knowing that they're probably molesting other kids," she said.

Now, she's suing the two photographers, wherever they are, and the agency that put her in touch with them.

"It's upsetting to know they are sending girls out and children out there, they're doing nothing to supervise," she said.

She believes there are other victims and wants them not to live in shame or silence.

Kyser's lawyer Elliott Kanter says there are arrest warrants for the photographers. Their names were not disclosed in the complaint.

Statement from Barbizon International:

"This is a most unfortunate situation and our hearts go out to Ms. Kyser. While this incident occurred with individuals unaffiliated with our company, our students safety is our top priority. We strive to educate and communicate with our students and parents, safety practices in the modeling and acting industry and can assure our families that their safety remains our top priority," - Kelly Friar, Barbizon International, Vice President of Corporate Communications