Sara Kruzan Freed: Teen Prostitute Who Killed Pimp Getting Out of Jail

Image: Sara Kruzan Freed: Teen Prostitute Who Killed Pimp Getting Out of Jail

Monday, 28 Oct 2013 02:27 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Sara Kruzan, a teen prostitute jailed since she was 16 for killing her pimp, will be freed by California Gov. Jerry Brown after advocates argued she was victimized by predators.

Kruzan, now 35, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder.

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Advocates argued that the man she killed groomed her from age 11 into a life of prostitution.

"It is justice long overdue," state Sen. Leland Yee told the Los Angeles Times.

Yee started a campaign in support of Kruzan 10 years ago with Human Rights Watch. She said Kruzan's case was a "perfect example of adults who failed her, of society failing her. You had a predator who stalked her, raped her, forced her into prostitution, and there was no one around."

In 2011, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger changed Kruzan's sentence to allow for parole. A Riverside judge in January then reduced her first-degree murder conviction to second-degree, which made her eligible for release immediately.

Brown received a recommendation from the state's parole board in June that she should be released. Kruzan remains at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla and no date has been set for her departure, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2010 that Kruzan first suffered abuse at the hands of her mother, who was addicted to drugs. Kruzan was also gang-raped by men from her neighborhood. The man she killed repeatedly raped her and threatened her if she didn't work for him as a prostitute when she was 13. 

In a video posted on Yee's website, Kruzan said, "I definitely know I deserve punishment. You don't just take somebody's life and think that it's OK. How much (punishment), I don't know."

Yee has been pushing legislation that would allow for new sentencing hearings for juveniles sent to prison for life without parole. That bill became a law in January.

Brown signed a second bill in September allowing parole boards to give special consideration to juveniles tried as adults who have served at least 15 years of their sentences.

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