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Celebrities Are Rushing To Help A Woman Who Killed Her Abuser When She Was Just A Teenager

The name Cyntoia Brown has been all over headlines as of late, for good reason. The Cyntoia Brown murder case has caught the public's attention, in part due to the sad tale of her life, and numerous potential injustices during the trial. There are celebrities advocating for Cyntoia Brown on social media and lawyers stepping forward to offer pro bono help. You may perhaps be wondering exactly who is this girl? What did she do? Should she be released? While that last part may be in debate, there are some Cyntoia Brown facts that are undeniably horrifying, no matter how you look at them.

There have been women who murdered their pimps and abusers throughout history, and Cyntoia is one of those women. On August 5, 2004, at the age of 16, she killed a 43-year-old man, Johnny Allen, who had paid for sex with her and threatened her safety. She was a child victim of sexual assault, a subject of sex trafficking, and was viciously beaten, all before she was even seventeen. She was tried as both an adult and as a prostitute and has been serving a life sentence for the murder. 

No matter what you believe about this case, if you think she deserved punishment or that she should go free, it pays to know what's happening. And it's hard to deny that the facts here are pretty messed up.

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  • Many Celebrities Have Taken Up Her Cause

    Although she was sentenced in 2006, Cyntoia Brown's case reignited controversy on social media in November 2017, fueled by some rather lofty individuals. Both Kim Kardashian and Rihanna have both posted the above image, bringing in thousands of shares and likes, and giving a brief description of Cyntoia's case. Kardashian announced on Twitter that she was contacting her own, high paid, lawyers to see what could be done. Rapper T.I. and actress Cara Delivigne have also both taken to various platforms to speak of how Cyntoia's case had been treated.

    This may be happening now due to how many individuals are opening up about sexual abuse, and the public's examination of how rape and abuse victims are treated in the legal system. Rhianna also added a heartfelt and outraged message with the reposted image:

    "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!"

  • She Was A Child Of Sexual Assault

    Photo: Rani V / YouTube

    Cyntoia Brown's story does not have a very happy beginning. She was born in 1988 to a mother who had suffered her own share of abuse. She had been raped, and Cyntoia was a product of that assault. During the pregnancy, she drank heavily, possibly leading to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and once Cyntoia was born, things didn't get better. Her mother got into much harder drugs, and soon began to abuse the little girl.

    When she was two years old, Cyntoia was given up for adoption. The home she found with Ellenette Brown was a fairly stable one, but so much damage had been done to her already, that she soon began to act out. By 2004, she had run away from home, and her life quickly became a downward spiral. 

  • She Was Tried As An Adult

    Photo: Rani V / YouTube

    When she was arrested, she was still only 16 years old, and was in a very agitated state. She waived her Miranda rights, and said openly that she had killed the man, claiming that it was self defense and that she had been forced into prostitution and sex trafficking. She never denied the crime, and it was questioned if she was was fit to stand trial. She was given a psychiatric evaluation that found she had a long history of trauma, and had a huge number of emotional and psychological issues. Not enough, however, to label her incompetent.

    Not only was she found fit to stand trial, but because the crime was murder, a juvenile court judge actually sent her to be tried as an adult. Even though she was a child and a victim of sex trafficking, neither of these things played into how her case was handled. These are the beginnings of what many say is an instance of a grave failing of the justice system.

  • She Was Sentenced To Life In Prison

    Photo: Rani V / YouTube

    During the trial, she was accused of several different crimes besides murder. She was tried for prostitution as well, and for aggravated robbery. The prosecution brought up the fact that she had a history of criminal behavior, and that she was a drug addict. They pointed out that she had a gun before going to Allen's home, and that he had likely been asleep at the time of his killing. They painted a picture of her as a liar, unreliable in her testimony, and as someone setting out to kill that night, rather than a victim of sex trafficking.

    By the end of the trial, she was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, and even the aggravated robbery. All this meant she was sentenced to life in prison, all while she was still a teenager. She would not be eligible for parole until she was sixty nine years old.