Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and more stars took to social media on Tuesday, November 21, to raise awareness and try to free jailed sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown.
According to Brown’s public defender, 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, Tennessee. Brown, who was living with an abusive adult male pimp at the time, shot and killed the man after she was convinced he intended to cause her bodily harm. She was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison and will serve 51 years before she can be considered for patrol.
“Did we somehow change the definition of JUSTICE along the way??,” Rihanna began on Instagram on November 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 “Work” singer also posted a photo of Brown receiving her Associates of Arts Degree from Lipscomb University’s LIFE Program (Lipscomb Initiative For Education).
“The system has failed,” Kardashian tweeted November 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.”
Brown’s public defender, Kathryn E. Sinback, tells US Weekly exclusively that the young woman today “is first and foremost a scholar” who is also giving. “She has taken advantage of every educational opportunity that has been available to her in prison,” the attorney says. “Cyntoia is generous. She likes to donate money to second harvest food bank.”
And while Brown is currently behind bars, her attorney said that Brown “is ready to live a meaningful and productive life. … Cyntoia rejoices every day that she is still alive.”
A MoveOn.Org petition to free Brown currently has more than 236,000 signatures.
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