In 2006, Cyntoia Brown shot and killed 43-year-old Johnny Michael Allen, whom she was hired by for sex. She was also forced into sex with other men by 24-year-old Garion “Cut Throat” McGlothen. She was tried as a adult and convicted of first degree murder and has been in prison for over a decade and will not be eligible for parole until she is sixty nine years old.
This is news worthy because this woman’s act was out of self defense. Brown was physically, sexually, and mentally abused. She did not consent to the things that happened to her before the shooting, this was not sex work, this was sex trafficking. She was tried as an adult, inadequately represented, and sentenced to 51 years in prison for an act of self-defense.
Women like Cyntoia Brown are put in positions like hers too often. Things like this shouldn’t happen to anyone, ever. While being questioned by the male prosecutor, she was asked why she was “comfortable enough” to “let” this man take her home and give her food, and then suddenly stopped feeling comfortable. The man asking her these questions has no idea what a young woman might feel in the situation that Brown was put into.
Young women of color are often seen as more adult than they actually are, while white children are seen as “young and innocent” well into their twenties. So, the environment in which she was being questioned in had not only an issue of gender, but an issue of race. Cyntoia Brown was not given a fair trial and hasn’t been taken seriously through any of this. She deserves to get out of prison and live as normal of a life as possible.