#GlobalNews: “Rihanna, Kim Kardashian call for release of jailed sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown – National”
Rihanna and Kim Kardashian are among a number of celebrities who took to social media this week to raise awareness and try to free jailed sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown.
According to Brown’s lawyer, in 2004, a then 16-year-old Brown was arrested and charged as an adult for the murder of a 43-year-old man who picked her up on the side of the road in Nashville, Tenn.
Brown, who was living with an abusive adult male pimp at the time, shot him in the back of the head and killed the man after she was convinced he was reaching for his gun and intended to cause bodily harm, according to court documents. She has not denied the killing.
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Brown, now 29, has said the man was a john and that she was working as a child prostitute at the time for a man who identified himself as “Cut Throat.”
At trial in 2004, she was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder and aggravated robbery. She was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison and will serve 51 years before she can be considered for parole.
Brown’s story has been circulating on social media this week under the hashtag, #FreeCyntoiaBrown.
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“Imagine at the age of 16 being sex-trafficked by a pimp named ‘cut-throat,’” the story says. “After days of being repeatedly drugged and raped by different men you were purchased by a 43-year-old predator who took you to his home to use you for sex. You end up finding enough courage to fight back and shoot and kill him.”
The story continues, “Your [sic] arrested as a result tried and convicted as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. This is the story of Cyntoia Brown. She will be eligible for parole when she is 69 years old.”
“Did we somehow change the definition of JUSTICE along the way??,” Rihanna began on Instagram on Nov. 21. “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.”
The Love On The Brain singer also posted a photo of Brown receiving her Associates of Arts Degree from Lipscomb University’s LIFE Program (Lipscomb Initiative For Education), with the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown.
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“The system has failed,” Kardashian tweeted Nov. 21. “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.”
Model Cara Delevingne shared the same photo as Rihanna and Kardashian, writing, “The justice system is so backwards!!! This is completely insane #FreeCyntoiaBrown.
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Rapper Snoop Dogg shared a photo that compared Brown’s sentencing of 51 years to Brock Turner’s sentencing of six months. The former Stanford swimmer Turner was convicted of assaulting an unconscious woman at the university.
T.I. also took to Instagram to support Brown. “Free da GOAT #IGotSomethingOnTheApeal,” he wrote in the caption of his post.
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Other celebrities have also joined the conversation, using the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown.
Kathryn E. Sinback, one of Brown’s public defenders, said in a statement that Brown “is first and foremost a scholar.”
“She has taken advantage of every educational opportunity that has been available to her in prison,” Sinback said. “Cyntoia is generous. She likes to donate money to second harvest food bank.”
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Charles Bone, one of Brown’s lawyers, told BuzzFeed News that he’s not sure why celebrities have noticed Brown’s case now but said that any support is welcome.
“This issue, in general, is worthy of a lot of publicity especially in the culture in which we live today,” Bone said. “And we think the fact that Cyntoia happens to be the child that is the subject of all of the publicity in the last 24 hours is wonderful. Obviously, she is not a child anymore, but she was sentenced as a child.”
“We were very, very appreciative of the fact that such an incredible number of celebrities would join our plea,” Bone said.
“She was thrilled by the fact that people really cared,” Bone, who said he spoke with Brown on Tuesday, told the Times.
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In 2011, Brown was the subject of a PBS documentary titled, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story. The documentary explored her case and the impact of her life as a teenage sex trafficking victim.
The documentary generated interest in Brown’s case and helped her find a lawyer to push for sentencing relief. The court ruled against her in 2014, stating that she “has not established by clear and convincing evidence that her due process rights were violated.”
A MoveOn.Org petition to free Brown currently has more than 317,360 signatures.
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Note: “Previously Published on: 24 November 2017 | 7:56 pm, as ‘Rihanna, Kim Kardashian call for release of jailed sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown – National’ on GLOBALNEWS CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.