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Tentative Settlement Offers Fresh Hope for Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan

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Sara Kruzan is a survivor of child molestation, rape, of child sex trafficking and of intimate battering.

On 10th March 1994, when child-sex captor G. G. Howard began to rape Sara inside of a hotel room, Sara let off the fatal gunshot that ended her sex-captor's life. A year later on May 10, 1995, at the age of 17, Sara was convicted of the first degree murder of George Gilbert Howard.

Sara was sentenced to life in prison, plus four years, with no possibility of parole. Signed on December 31, 2010, the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, commuted Sara's sentence to life with the possibility of parole, come 2020.

Now, tentative settlement has been reached by Sara's legal team and Riverside County prosecutors in her quest for justice in the form of a new trial.

It is questionable to whether this settlement will lead to a chance for re-trial, or her freedom with credit for time-served, or something else all together. The Free Sara Kruzan Campaign Team, headed by activist Carrie Christie are hopeful.

'We're waiting is patiently waiting for January 11th to come, as that is the scheduled (informal) hearing date for the plan' says Carrie Christie.

The DA's office and Sara's legal team is not commenting at this time, however, this request was mutual and supported on both sides.​

Continues Christie, 'Our team with Free Sara Kruzan remains hopeful that justice will come soon for Sara. January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness day in the U.S., and Riverside has the opportunity to not only rectify a human trafficking victim's case, but also shine the light of hope on this dark issue that plagues our communities'.

Sara Kruzan grew up in Riverside, California with an older sister and a single mother on welfare. Sara's father was an ex-convict and heroin addict. On one of three occasions when Sara met her father, she witnessed him shooting up heroin in a bathroom. Sara's mother was mentally ill, emotionally unstable and addicted to cocaine.

At age 11, George Gilbert Howard picked up Sara as she was walking home from school. G. G. bribed Sara with ice cream, then took her to his residence, where he undressed her and molested her, thereby committing a first degree felony sexual assault. From that date forward, G. G. Howard indoctrinated Sara into the child-sex trade.

At age 12, Sara's mother set Sara up with a 23 year old "mentor", who furnished Sara with alcohol and raped her repeatedly over the course of a year. [In the State of California under PC 261.5, sex with a minor is defined as rape.] At age 13, Sara was gang raped by three men. Sara's mother refused to allow Sara to press charges. She insisted it would backfire and that Sara had "asked for it".

At age 13, 33 year old George Gilbert Howard raped Sara Kruzan, then immediately began to sexually exploit Sara, selling her body for three years in the child-sex trade. G. G. Howard threatened Sara and set her in dangerous situations, in addition to the dangers of prostitution. At age 15, Sara was hospitalized when she survived a fatal car crash. Sara was then placed in five or six foster care homes, while she repeatedly ran away to return to G. G. Howard over the course of five months.

After trial, and a thorough evaluation of Sara Kruzan and her documents by two experts, Dr. Linda S. Barnard concluded that, "Sara was suffering from the effects of intimate partner battering in March 1994 and her behaviors and actions were affected - if not controlled by - the years of abuse she endured. By failing to have an expert on intimate partner battering and its effects to explain the many complexities involved in this case, Sara Kruzan's defense was severely limited."

Fellow expert Dr. Nancy Kaser-Boyd concluded, "Ms. Kruzan clearly suffered the common effects of intimate partner battering on the night of the shooting. Most young people [suffering from intimate partner battering and its effects] respond well to therapy and become healthy adults with therapeutic intervention."

Says Carrie Christie, 'We ask that Freedom Fighters for Sara Kruzan connect with us on social media to keep apprised of all case updates and future campaigns. The fight for Sara's freedom isn't over!'

FB page: www.facebook.com/forcesforsara
Twitter: @freesarakruzan
I am SJK Campaign: www.IamSJK.com
Website: www.freesarakruzan.org