Child Sex Trafficking Survivor Cyntoia Brown Will Released From Prison Next Week
She’s a survivor! Cyntoia Brown is a 31-year-old Tennessee woman who has been incarcerated since the young age of 16. Forced into prostitution, the child sex trafficking victim was picked up by a stranger at a fast food restaurant, and coerced into performing sex acts. According to her legal team, Cyntoia shot the man out of fear that he was reaching for a gun to kill her.
In 2004, she was sentenced to life in prison for the man’s murder, but to the delight of supporters, after a resurgence of her story – was granted clemency by then-Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. She is officially set to be released next Wednesday, August 7th!
Prior to an outpouring of social media outrage over her case in 2017, Cyntoia Brown’s case was reviewed, eventually leading to her clemency. Celebrities such as Lebron James, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna used their celebrity to speak up about her heartbreaking story.
According to officers and fellow inmates, Cyntoia’s time behind bars has not been in vain. She has lead programs and encouraged other inmates to pursue their education while earning both her associates and bachelor’s degrees! Her professor – executive director of Lipscomb University’s LIFE program, Kate Watkins – says she’s grateful that Cyntoia’s story is making a difference. She said:
“It makes me so hopeful. I am so confident in her, absolutely confident…[I’m] thankful and grateful that this story is not going to be wasted, that this young, brave, passionate woman would take this pain and use it for the good of others.”
She will report to parole for the next ten years, and is required to hold down a job, and attend counseling and community service. Both Cyntoia Brown and her team of friends, family, and legal counsel have declined to comment on her release, noting her plea for privacy.
Welcome home, Cyntoia!
Written by Miata Shanay