Cyntoia Brown became a sex slave at the young age of 16 to a 43-year-old Tennessee realtor. This monster verbally, physically and sexually abused Brown.
During her time in captivity she was raped on numerous occasions, to which the abuse caused her to be paranoid of her surroundings. Brown decided one day she had had enough of the abuse and shot and killed her captor, freeing herself from being a sex slave.
One would think a situation like Brown’s would have the justice system sympathizing with her, and jubilant she was able to escape her captor; however that was not the case.
She was put up on trial for murdering her captor, in 2004, and was convicted. Sentenced to serve time in prison and would only be eligible for parole when she turned 67 years old.
Since this case a documentary was produced by filmmaker Dan Birman. He attempted to bring legislative and social change regarding child sex slavery. FOX 17 reported that the film did in fact have an effect on Tennessee, to which the legislature revised the law on child prostitution to help others in Brown’s situation, rather than punish them.
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‘FOX 17 attempted to interview her in a new investigation into her story, but the Department of Corrections declined the request. However, the station was able to speak with the producers of the documentary to get a better understanding of her situation,’ reports The Federalist Papers.
“She was picked up by a 43 year old man” filmmaker Dan Birman said. “Cyntoia was 16 years old.”
“We started the conversation, this is a young girl who’s at the tail end of three generations of violence against women.”
The Federalist Papers explained, “Her grandmother, mother, and Cyntoia herself were all victims of rape. Additionally, her mother drank during her pregnancy, leading Cyntoia to suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which affected her brain development.”
“She did kill someone, she deeply regrets it, but she was a child and she was being exploited,” Derri Smith, Founder of End Slavery TN, said.
Brown testified she was afraid for her own life, while in captivity.
“He was a sharp shooter in the Army. I’m sitting here thinking if he does something, what am I going to do?”
Her testimony didn’t seem to matter though. She was convicted of murder and is eligible for parole 51 years from when she was sentenced to jail. Trying to deal the cards dealt, Brown has been working to make positive change while behind bars:
Fox 17 was provided Cyntonia’s graduation pictures from Lipscomb University for an Associates Degree. She’s now working on her Bachelors while working side by side with the courts and the Juvenile Justice system as an unpaid consultant. She’s a friend of the system.
“I myself can create opportunities to help people [behind bars],” Brown said.
Today, in 2017, Brow would be treated as a victim, not a villain. Unfortunately the laws were different in 2004 and her murder conviction still stands.
There is an increasing movement to free her from prison.