NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Social media posts by Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West have brought new light to the case of Cyntoia Brown who was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for killing a man who paid her for sex while she was 16.
On Monday, a picture with a caption detailing Brown’s life of repeated rape in the sex-trafficking went viral.
The image reads:
“Imagine at the age of 16 being sex-trafficked by a pimp named “cut-throat.” After days of being repeatedly drugged and raped by different men, you were purchased by a 43-year-old child 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 post goes on to say “You’re arrested as 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.”
A documentary from Filmmaker Dan Birman documents seven years of following the case.
The image was shared by the likes of Rihanna, T.I., Kim Kardashian West, Cara Delevingne, Lauren Jauregui and more, bringing attention on what many see as unjust punishment for a girl who had a hectic childhood.
“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,” Kim Kardashian said on her Twitter.
“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,” Rihanna posted on her Instagram.
According to the Daily Mail, during her trial in 2004, Brown testified that she was choked, beaten and raped frequently in her home and threatened at gunpoint.
The jury rejected her claim of self-defense and found her guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. The Daily Mail said Brown was just 16 when she was sex trafficked by a pimp named Kutthroat who then sold her to a 43-year-old Nashville real-estate agent, Johnny Allen whom she later killed.
Brown will eligible for parole after serving 51 years. She would be 67.