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Trafficked Girl Shoots Pimp, Gets Life Sentence

Sara Kruzan was raised by a drug addicted, abusive mother. She had no relationship with her imprisoned father. Eventually, she ended up in foster care. By age nine depression had set in and she attempted suicide more than once.

At age eleven, a 30 year old man named G.G. became the father figure she was missing. He showed her affection, told her she was special, and took Sara and her friends roller skating or to the movies. 

Girls like Sara are vulnerable to pimps, who know their story and manipulate them for personal gain. They know the girls are emotionally needy, seeking love and stability. So they offer a sense of love from a “father” or a “husband.”

Eventually, through a combination of “love,” abuse, and drugs, the pimps come to control the girls.

After Sara turned 13, G.G. told her she was “so special” that she should never give away sex for free. Adding terror for good measure, he raped her, and then forced her to walk the streets from six in the evening until six in the morning every day, so that she could be raped by other men – and turn all her money over to him. G.G. continued to rape her, as well.

Three years later she killed him.

Sara got a life sentence, without parole.

The circumstances of Sara’s behavior were not understood in 1994 when she was sentenced. Back then, most people thought girls sold sex because they simply had low morals. Today many still think that way, which is why young prostitutes are typically arrested instead of helped. Too many people didn’t – and still don’t – understand the dynamics behind child prostitution, or that trafficking is essentially slavery.

In fact, some have criticized reporting on Sara’s story, noting that the murder was premeditated and accomplished after Sara had moved away from G.G. But his abuse and betrayal likely played into her willingness and desire to murder him. I’d want to kill him, too, if I were her. At the least, her background would seem to point to mitigating circumstances.

Sara is now 32 and has spent half her life in prison. She is a model prisoner, and is asking Gov. Schwarzenegger for clemency.

If you would like to read more about Sara, go to chang.org, where you can also sign a petition asking Gov. Schwarzenegger to release Sara with time served.

Hopefully one day we will appreciate the horrific lives of trafficked girls, and aid them so that they can heal and lead productive lives.

Georgia Platts

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