NASHVILLE (WZTV) – A child sex slave in Nashville is behind bars for killing the man who used her. Cyntoia Brown was physically, sexually and verbally abused. The Department of Corrections declined WZTV’s request to interview her, but Filmmaker Dan Birman shared video from his seven years documenting Cyntoia Brown’s case.
In the film, Brown explains her abuse and how it made her paranoid. Brown is convicted of murder for killing a Nashville realtor who’d bought her for sex. “She was picked up by a 43 year old man.” Birman said. “Cyntoia was 16 years old.” Birman’s documentary gave voice to her childhood horror. “We started the conversation, this is a young girl who’s at the tail end of three generations of violence against women,” Birman said.
Cyntoia, her grandmother, and mother were all raped. “She had no chance,” Birman added.
In her 2004 trial, Brown explains how there was always a gun being pointed at her. She was being hit, choked and dragged. Derri Smith, the Founder of End Slavery TN, shares the perspective. “She did kill someone, she deeply regrets it, but she was a child and she was being exploited,” Smith said.
Also in her trial, Brown testified she was fearful of the man, ‘Mr. Allen,’ who’d picked her up. “He was a sharp shooter in the Army. I’m sitting here thinking if he does something, what am I going to do?” – Cyntonia
Further affecting impulse control, her mother testified drinking at least a fifth a day while pregnant. On appeal, her attorneys were able to show she suffered from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder which affected her brain.