Culture&Arts

Celebrities demand justice for jailed sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown

Celebrities demand justice for jailed sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown

Cyntoia Brown is serving life in prison for killing a man who was part of a trafficking ring and paid her for sex when she was 15.

The film features heartbreaking interviews with a young Brown, as she alleges that at the time of the murder she was victim of sex trafficking at the hands of a 24 year-old pimp named "Cut-throat".

Cyntoia shot and killed Johnny Allen, 43, in 2004, after he solicited her for sex and brought her back to his home.

She also details a life of abuse, with her mother and grandmother being survivors of rape and her adopted father being physically abusive.

During trial, Brown said a stranger, Johnny Mitchell Allen, had taken her to his home and had told her about his numerous guns.

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Brown was sentenced to 51 years to life for first degree murder and prostitution at the Tennessee Prison for Women.

In 2011, Brown was the subject of a PBS documentary titled "Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story".

Her post has since been shared by figures such as Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian - thereby forcing her case into the limelight.

Kardashian has even called in her own legal team see if anything can be done for the 29-year-old.

Kim Kardashian tweeted: 'The system has failed.

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"We have to do better and do what's right".

The Fox report featured a video from Dan Birman, a professor at University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism who has been showcasing Brown's story and also has been pushing for justice.

Rihanna wrote that something was "horribly wrong" with the justice system that "enables these rapists". Before she was sold to Allen, she'd repeatedly been raped and given drugs, which she said made her paranoid.

Rihanna is among several artists who are outraged over the sentencing of Cyntoia Brown.

Cara Delevinge called the situation "completely insane". "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!" Her lawyers say she has also been permanently affected by foetal alcohol syndrome. 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. If Brown's case was heard today, she would be viewed as a child sex trafficking victim. Prostitution charges are now only applicable to people of 18 years of age and older. Brown is now 25 years of age and has earned an associate's degree from Lipscomb University while behind bars.

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"We started the conversation, this is a young girl who's at the tail end of three generations of violence against women", Birman said to Nashville news station Fox 17.