Tweeting Suicide Victim Abused by Stepfather, Other Family Member

A photo of Ashley Billasano.

A photo of Ashley Billasano.  (Myspace)

A FOX 26 news investigation has learned that Ashley Billasano, a Houston, Texas High School student who tweeted 144 times right before she committed suicide last week, was sexually assaulted multiple times by her stepfather Allan Leskinen and then again by another close family member.

He had sexually abused her and of course emotionally as well starting at 14. She had demons we couldn't help her with.

- Tiffany Ruiz Leskinen, Ashley's Mother

Ashley's mother, Tiffani Ruiz Leskinen, confirmed her daughter's tweeted claim of having been repeatedly assaulted by a close family member and others while living in Round Rock, Texas.

What Tiffany did not talk about then, and what Fox 26 news has uncovered, are crimes that happened in Houston 11 years ago: multiple aggravated sexual assaults of Ashley by her then stepfather Leskinen, Tiffany's now ex-husband.

She was only 7-years-old.

Allan was caught, convicted and is approaching the end of an 11-year sentence. 

Ashley and her mother would move to another town near Austin, but that's when she claimed she was sexually abused again.

"To have been abused at a young age and then had a relative period of freedom from the abuse, it must have felt like a nightmare when it started back up," said child welfare attorney Valerie Brock whose been involved in thousands of abuse cases.

"It's bad enough for it to happen once, but for it to happen to a child more than once by more than one perpetrator is unthinkable," said veteran advocate Pam Hobbs of the Houston Area Women's Center.

"He had sexually abused her and of course emotionally as well starting at 14,” Tiffany said. “She had demons we couldn't help her with."


Catastrophic End 

We know from her tweets Ashley was convinced her abuser would go free and that police and prosecutors had given up.
For the innocent, serial victim, the consequences of that belief would prove catastrophic.

"They tell this big thing and nothing happens,” Hobbs said. “What happens then is that they feel they are not worth much, that the rest of us don't think they are worth much.”

Monday, Ruiz Leskinen found Ashley's lifeless body. She had asphyxiated herself after tweeting for hours about the abuse she'd suffered.

The Travis County District Attorney's office told the Austin American Statesman Thursday that it never closed the investigation of Ashley's alleged attacker and has always planned to present the case to a grand jury.

For more stories from KRIV FOX 26  in Houston, Texas go to

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