Cyntoia Brown was 16 in 2004 when she was arrested for the murder of a real estate agent in a bid to escape the conditions of being a sex slave for a Nashville drug dealer and pimp. Brown’s case has caught the attention of Rihanna and other entertainers, sparking a rallying cry for the now-adult and imprisoned for life Brown to hopefully gain a bid to freedom.
The Tennessean reports:
Scores of advocates including pop stars such as Rihanna have taken to social media encouraging the freedom of teenage victim of sex trafficking victim sentenced to life in prison for killing a 43-year-old stranger who had picked her up at a Nashville Sonic.
“Did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way??” the superstar Rihanna wrote on her Instagram page Tuesday morning. “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!”
Less than two hours after the post, Rihanna’s comments had garnered nearly 700,000 likes.
She ended the post with #FREECYNTOIABROWN – a hashtag that went viral on Twitter and refers to the Nashville woman now serving a life sentence in Tennessee Prison for Women.
Kim Kardashian also lent a voice of support for Brown, saying she’s called her personal attorneys to see if they can offer anything in the form of assistance for Brown. Brown is currently 25 years of age and has earned an associate’s degree from Lipscomb University while behind bars.
According to reports, she serves as a mentor for other prisoners and is pursuing a master’s degree. Brown’s story was brought to life in the documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntonia’s Story in 2011. Learn more about the film here.
We’ve collected the response to Cyntoia Brown’s ordeal below and on the following pages.
Photo: screen cap/Independent Lens/PBS