Who Is Cyntoia Brown?
Brown is a 29-year-old woman who was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man in Tennessee in 2004. When she was 16 years old, she ran away from home and was living with a physically and sexually-abusive 24-year-old man who went by the name "Cut-throat."
"Cut-throat" forced Brown to prostitute herself for money, which is how she encountered 43-year-old real estate agent Johnny Allen. Allen solicited her for sex, then abused her and repeatedly pointed a gun at her. According to the Associated Press, this led her to shoot him in the back of his head with a handgun she was carrying in her purse at that time.
Despite the fact that Brown was forced into sex slavery, her self-defense claim was rejected and she was found guilty of the murder in 2006 before being sentenced to life imprisonment at the Tennessee Prison for Women. She has already spent nine years in prison and is not eligible for parole until she's 67 years old.
Back In The News
Brown's story is grabbing headlines yet again after Fox 17 published a report on her life in prison recently. The article features a video made by Dan Birman, a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Birman has been telling Brown's story and calling for her release and also made a documentary film based on her life titled Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story.
Change In Tennessee Law
Brown's case drew attention to child sex and prostitution laws in Tennessee. In fact, in 2011, the state laws were amended to prevent anyone aged 18 or younger to be charged with prostitution.
Celebrities Demand Justice For Brown
Because of this, celebrities have joined the rallying cry for her freedom. Kardashian, RiRi, and Delevingne among others took to social media on Tuesday, Nov. 21, to share the sexual trafficking victim's story and demand justice for Cyntoia Brown.
Check out their posts below:
The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown pic.twitter.com/73y26mLp7u
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 21, 2017
did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? cause..... Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life! To each of you responsible for this child's sentence I hope to God you don't have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already! #FREECYNTOIABROWN #HowManyMore A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Nov 21, 2017 at 5:12am PST
A post shared by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on Nov 21, 2017 at 9:52am PST