The life story of Cyntoia Brown is truly heartbreaking.
I remember watching the Daniel H. Birman’s 2011 PBS documentary about her. Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, revealed Cyntoia came from three generations of horrific abuse.
Her grandmother and mother had been raped. ‘She had no chance,’ Birman said of Brown.
I was devastated by what she had been through. I wanted to help. But what could I do?
So I am thrilled that her case has finally got the attention it deserves.
Now celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Cara Delevingne are demanding justice for a Cyntoia. She has spent the last 13 years in jail for killing a man who held her captive as a sex slave.
This when Cyntoia was just 16 years old.
Cyntoia was sex trafficked by a pimp called Kutthroat. She was physically, sexually and verbally abused by him.
Kutthroat eventually sold her to 43-year-old Nashville realtor Johnny Allen, a court heard during her trial in 2004.
The teen feared that Allen, a former Army sharp shooter, was planning to kill her. Cyntoia bravely grabbed one of her captor’s guns and killed him, Fox 17 reports.
But when the case came to court, she was sentenced to life in prison.
She won’t be eligible for parole for at least 51 years.
The case is getting new attention after a meme showing Brown in court, detailing her case went viral on Monday.
The hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown is now been tweeted thousands of times.
Kim Kardashian has even called her own legal team to see if they can help fight Cyntoia’s case.
‘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!’ she tweeted.
‘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’.
British model Cara Delevingne was also horrified, writing in an Instagram post: ‘The justice system is so backwards!!! This is completely insane #freecyntoiabrown.’
Singer Rihanna said something had gone ‘horribly wrong’ for a sex trafficked and be jailed for killing her abuser.
‘We somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way??’ she wrote in an Instagram post, ’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!’
During her trial, it was revealed Brown was a runaway who was forced into prostitution by Kutthroat.
She also testified that she was repeatedly hit, choked, and dragged,
He almost always had a gun pointing at her and forced her to have sex with other men.
Kuttroat raped and gave her drugs, which she said made her paranoid.
Cyntoia, now in her 20s, said that when she arrived a Allen’s home she found it was full of guns and became convinced he was going to kill her.
Her biological mother, Georgina Mitchell, also testified in court that she had drank heavily while pregnant with Cyntoia.
When Cyntoia was born she had fetal alcohol syndrome which can cause mild to severe mental birth defects.
Georgina also engaged in prostitution, according to Nashville Scene. Her family has a history of suicide and mental illness.
Brown’s adopted father was also an alcoholic who beat his wife in front of her.
Cyntoia Brown also drank alcohol when she was as young as nine.
But prosecutors said that the motivation for killing Allen had been robbery.
After the killing the teen had taken Allen’s wallet and guns. Brown was sentenced to 51 years to life for first degree murder and prostitution at the Tennessee Prison for Women.
The shocking sentence actually helped change the laws surrounding child sex slaves. Today, minors cannot be charged with prostitution.
Derri Smith, the Founder of End Slavery, told Fox News: ‘She did kill someone, she deeply regrets it, but she was a child and she was being exploited.’
Brown, now 29, has completed her associate’s degree behind bars and is reportedly working on her bachelors.
She also works as an unpaid consultant for the Juvenile Justice system.
But Cyntoia’s life before prison was bleak.
She would often smoke marijuana and take ecstasy while living in Nashville with a woman who cared for neglected children.
At night, she would sneak out of the home and go to nightclubs, where she would party with older men.
She ended up at a friend’s house in a local housing project where she was selling crack.
There she met a man turned out to be ‘Kutthroat,’ also known by his birth name Garion McGlothen.
McGlothen, 24 at the time, befriended Cyntoia. He invited her to join him a trip to Florida, where they would buy, sell, and use cocaine.
Before leaving for Florida, he took Cyntoia to a motel room in Nashville.
He gave her a vodka drink that she believes was laced with a drug that left her unconscious.
He raped her numerous times.
He would then force Cyntoia to service men sexually. She would charge $250, which she later split with Kuttroat.
He used the money to pay for the motel room as well as his cocaine habit.
On August 5, 2004, she was solicited by Johnny Allen in the parking lot of a Sonic drive-in fast food restaurant in Nashville. At around 11pm that night, he drove her back to his home.
That night a man lost his life, and Cyntoia’s changed forever.