Sara Kruzan was Finally Paroled!
UPDATE: Sex trafficking victim, Sara Kruzan was released after serving 19 years in prison for killing her abusive pimp at the age of 17. Her sentence was "life". Sold for sex since she was 13, Sara's release finally came the Fall of 2013. To find out or review how Sara arrived at this point (a free woman), see earlier posts below, but for now, she is free...well, at least free from the confines of prison walls.
I am thankful and delighted she is released and I wish her well in her journey of healing from such a crushing history of trauma-after-trauma that began at such a young age. I am certain that Sara celebrates the her new found freedom of movement, movies, dinner out and especially having the ability to look, touch, and see those who care about her and love her. Wonderful and joyous right? It is, it truly is,...however, that freedom does not come without its own brand of constraints. Having a felony conviction or being on parole are the tentacles of an incarceration system that will limit or impede her access to things such as what we might deem as basic human rights...e.g. housing, education, employment.
The Board of Parole Hearings recommendation to release Sara in 2012 was allowed to go through by Governor Jerry Brown. Don't high-five that! You may want to see the City Watch Archive on Sara's release. Reporter Dick Price gives the details...the devil is always in the details, and he puts the spin on our system of incarceration you may not have considered highlighting "Small Steps" and "Sleight of Hand". Visit Citywatchla.com or Click link to story: http://www.citywatchla.com/archive/5977-sara-kruzan-s-small-step?tmpl
Essentially, Sara stepped into a new world as hers seemingly stood still. I wonder how she will fare. We will keep watch. Wish you well young lady.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Sara Kruzan, a child victim of neglect, sexual abuse and human trafficking, now age 35, may finally be free in the near future! As outlined in previous ADVOCATE posts... at age 16, Sara killed the pedophile pimp G.G. whom she met when she was age 11 and he was 31 years of age. By the time she was age 13, he was having sex with her, abusing her and had her working the streets, selling her body for him. Sara was charged as an "Adult" and sentenced to Life without the possibility of Parole. Click story link below:
Staff Writer, Richard K. DeAtley of Press Enterprise has been following the progression of this case closely.
During a recent hearing January 18, 2013, before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gary Tranbarger, the District Attorney's Office did not oppose a defense motion to have Kruzan's conviction reduced from first-degree to second-degree murder with a gun use allegation.
The modified charges changed her sentence to 19-years-to-life in prison, making her eligible for parole. Sara has been incarcerated now for just over 19 years. A Hearing before the State Parole Board is expected by July.
Below is the succession of events that brought her case to the forefront:
* In 2006, advocacy group Human Rights Watch wanted to bring attention to the injustices in juvenile sentencing. They chose the case of Sara Kruzan and conducted a videotaped interview with Sara in prison. Sara's story of childhood abuse, neglect and eventually sexual exploitation and the subsequent killing of her former pimp was powerful, however few took notice.
*In 2009, a friend of Sara's began to use the Human Rights Watch video produced of Sara's story and began to use social media to spread the video on YouTube to draw attention and direct people to her plea for help website.
*In 2009, actress Demi Moore saw the story. Using her Twitter account she shared the video of Sara's story and stated, “She was a child. Unprotected. I think she deserves a 2nd chance. Do you?” The response was overwhelming and the Human Rights video went viral!
Demi Moore's interest and sharing of the video brought wide-spread attention. People from around the country and abroad were outraged by the injustice and began Face book groups, Blogs, Tweets and linkage to on-line petitions for Sara that had been virtually dormant. Even Pro-bono Attorneys took interest as well as those in Violence Against Women and Children movements and Sex Trafficking.
Sara's case became linked to human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.
*In October, 2012, The Dr. Phil Show picked up the story and did a full segment that included Actress Mira Sorvino "Trade of Innocents" who works to combat human trafficking. Dr. Phil's show also used the Human Rights video, as well as conduct an on-stage interview with Sara's mother and Sara's paternal aunt who is one of Sara's greatest supports. Sara's mother did not fare well on the show. Dr Phil told her she was in "complete denial" and not truthful. She came off as a key source of how and why Sara as a child was "dropped" and thrown into the deadly, twisted world of sex trafficking.
A plan has come together!
Hopefully the case of Marissa Alexander, wrongfully convicted and serving 20 years unjustly in Florida will garner a similar outcome.
Much More to come!