Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Girls Interrupted
Sara Kruzan
Sara Kruzan
At 11, Sara Kruzan was a good student with a troubled homelife: her mother was addicted to drugs and her father was absent. In need of a parental figure, Kruzan met a 31-year-old man named G.G., who began buying her gifts and taking her and her friends out. G.G. spent two years establishing himself as a father figure in Kruzan's life and earning her trust, but then, when she was 13, he raped her. Soon, Kruzan was just one of several girls working for G.G. as a prostitute: the time he had spent showering her with gifts had merely been "grooming" her for prostitution, a small investment in comparison to the profits turned in the sex trade. On March 10, 1994, after three years of being subjected to strange men for twelve hours every night, 16-year-old Kruzan made a fatal decision. Finding herself in a Riverside, Calif., motel room with G.G., Kruzan shot him in the neck with a pistol and stole $1,500 and the keys to his Jaguar. She left her purse at the motel, though, which led to her arrest and subsequent confession. Prosecutors offered Kruzan a plea which would have given her the possibility of parole, but she turned it down against her lawyer's advice, was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. Incarcerated at the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, Calif., Kruzan is now 29. Her case has garnered the attention of human rights activists and is often cited in debates on the propriety of sentencing of juveniles to life without parole.
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