'Cyntoia Brown bill' seeks to protect child sex trafficking victims
Tennessee state law makers held a press conference Wednesday to propose a new bill in Cyntoia Brown’s honor.
Brown will be 31 years old once she is released from prison in August, after serving 16 years behind bars for killing a man.
She said she was forced into prostitution and scared for her life when she murdered 43-year-old Johnny Allen while in bed together.
Brown was 16 at the time.
House Bill 17 provides a defense for children who are victims of sexual assault, sex trafficking, prostitution, or sex-exploitation.
The bill is known as the Cyntoia Brown Bill and is sponsored by Memphis Representative London Lamar.
State lawmakers say this bill will sending a powerful message to the perpetrators of sexual violence and trafficking against children, putting them on equal standing with the child victims.
“The purpose of this bill is to provide a defense for children who are victims of sexual assault, sex trafficking, prostitution, and sexual exploitation,” Lamar said.
“This bill is for is for those children who don’t have the media and it’s our obligation as elected officials to speak out for them.”
The Cyntoia Brown Bill would help protect minors who are not able to defend themselves.
If passed, lawmakers say prosecutors will need to prove that the child was a victim before being able to use this law.
However, there is still a lot of work ahead to get the bill into law.