A former child prostitute who shot to death the man she says raped and sexually exploited her will finally go free, after California Governor Jerry Brown refused to stop a parole board from letting her go.
Sara Kruzan of Riverside, Calif., has been in prison since 1995, when she was convicted of slaying her pimp, George Gilbert “G.G.” Howard, in a motel room as part of what prosecutors contended was a robbery plot.
But Kruzan (pictured), a former honor roll student whose single, drug-addicted mother abused her, says that Howard first took her under his wing as a surrogate father figure at age 11. Howard was 20 years older. She said that when she was 13, Howard raped her and forced her into prostitution.
She murdered Howard after three years under his control as a prostitute. She was sentenced to life without parole. But that sentence was reduced twice.
“I felt that she wasn’t considered to be a sex trafficking victim,” said Kruzan’s aunt, Anne Rogan. “And she was.”
Kruzan’s cause was taken up by actress Demi Moore and the group Human Rights Watch. Kruzan herself has said that she believed she deserved punishment for Howard’s murder, but not life in prison.
California State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco, another longtime advocate of reducing Kruzan’s sentence, called Kruzan, now 35, “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. We allowed this demon to turn this girl into a prostitute.”
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarznegger first reduced Kruzan’s sentence in 2011, granting her the possibility of parole. The Riverside County District Attorney reduced it again earlier this year when Kruzan was seeking a new trial in which she planned to claim a battered partner defense.
According to her aunt, Kruzan may be free within a week.
SOURCES: Riverside Press Enterprise, Los Angeles Times, CBS Los Angeles