Six members of child sex trafficking victim Sara Jessimy Kruzan’s family and legal team waited anxiously outside a Riverside County courtroom today for Kruzan’s scheduled 8:30 a.m. hearing where Judge Gary Tranbarger was to reveal the terms of her settlement. But no hearing took place and no settlement was disclosed.
After waiting at least an hour past the hearing’s scheduled start time, Kruzan’s team was informed by a court deputy that her hearing has been postponed until Jan. 18. Kruzan’s attorney disclosed outside court this morning that the settlement expected to be revealed next week does not include a retrial.
Kruzan, who was convicted of first-degree murder of her pimp in 1995, requested a retrial last summer that would cite battered-partner defense. She has only received news of several extensions regarding Riverside District Attorney Paul Zellerbach’s decision concerning her request. In 1995, Riverside Superior Judge J. Thompson Hanks sentenced Kruzan to life in prison without parole. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted her term to 25 years with the chance of parole in 2011.
The proposed tentative settlement has been agreed upon by Kruzan and her legal team and the Riverside Court. Kruzan will be present during her hearing next week via teleconference from Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla where she is currently serving her nineteenth consecutive year in jail. The settlement will either include a reduced prison sentence or the sentence will remain the same, said Kruzan’s aunt, Anne Rogan, who was present at the courthouse this morning. But Rogan believes the settlement will reveal “good news” since Kruzan has been requested to be present, albeit remotely, at her hearing. It is also possible that Kruzan be allowed to plea a lesser charge.
Additional Sara Kruzan coverage by the Abolish Slavery Coalition:
- Life After Jail: Child sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan’s future plans
- Sara Kruzan sentence reduced; eligible for parole this year
- Settlement reached for child sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan
- Exclusive Interview: Sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan’s family speaks out
About the Author
Melissa Grace Hoon is the Managing Editor for the Abolish Slavery Coalition. She is a victim advocate and a human rights journalist with a Master’s degree in American studies where she focused on slavery, gendered violence and victimization. She is a freelance reporter for the Orange County Register and volunteers with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force.