Kansas Made This Sex Trafficking Survivor A Criminal — another Chance is wanted by her

Hope Joy Zeferjohn ended up being missing through the Kansas Capitol regarding the time her household ended up being posing for photos because of the governor.

It had been might 22, 2015, and then-Gov. Sam Brownback had been signing a proclamation for Family Reunification Month.

Zeferjohn’s parents and siblings endured behind him, literal poster kids for Brownback’s efforts to go back kiddies to their houses from foster care.

But Zeferjohn, 16, was at state custody in Salina, already underneath the violent control of a guy whom trafficked her for intercourse.

Per year following the picture ended up being taken, Zeferjohn had been charged in June 2016 with 10 felonies, including aggravated trafficking that is human. She had been 17. Despite federal and state rules that bar prosecuting young ones for prostitution, Zeferjohn is serving a almost six-year phrase in the Topeka Correctional center and certainly will invest a very long time from hawaii intercourse offender registry.

“I deserve another opportunity,” said Zeferjohn, now 21, that is searching for a pardon from Gov. Laura Kelly. “As long when I have hope, i will provide aspire to people.”

The Kansas Sentencing Commission claims individual trafficking fees, whether for males or ladies at all ages, are unusual and they are often pleaded down seriously to other smaller crimes.

But advocates for trafficking survivors say misguided charging that is criminal together with ensuing plea deals reached in situations like Zeferjohn’s, tend to be more typical than state documents suggest. Continue reading