Cyntoia Brown is Free After Serving 15 Years for Murder as a Victim of Sex Trafficking

On Wednesday morning, sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown, 31, walked out of prison after serving a 15-year sentence for murder. Brown’s case was controversial from the start considering she was a 16-year-old child in the foster care system, who had escaped and was living with a pimp before being picked up by 43-year-old Johnny Allen

Photo: Wikimedia/Sister Circle TV

Photo: Wikimedia/Sister Circle TV

However, it wasn’t until 2017 that she garnered the attention of millions after Rihanna shared Brown’s story on Instagram which sparking the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown to start trending. She’d also been commended for mentoring female inmates and earning her high school equivalency diploma and an associate degree through Lipscomb University, the NY Times reported.

“She is light years today, as a woman, different from the traumatized 16-year-old that she was,” Derri Smith, founder, and CEO of non-profit End Slavery Tennessee, said last January according to CNN. “She’s mentoring … troubled youth, working on her college degree, she is planning a nonprofit so she can help other young people.”

Brown reportedly wrote a book about her life during her incarceration, which is set to be released this fall though she is not doing interviews since her release. She will also be under supervised parole until Aug. 7, 2029. The Department of Corrections said in a statement on Monday that she had prepared for her release by meeting with counselors to design a “re-entry” plan including placement in a transition center and continuing her studies, the NY Times reported.

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