A Victim/Convicted Pimp Murderer Still Being Brutalized -
The Sara Kruzan Story - Part I
In 1991, most thirteen year old girls were caught up in Disney’s newly released “Beauty and the Beast,” singing songs from popular artists like Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, and if they were really fortunate, you could find them in front of the television playing their Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Yeah, life was good for most thirteen year old girls, but not for Sarah Kruzan. Born on January 8th, 1978, Kruzan was brought into a family with a disturbing set of circumstances. Her mother, Nicole, a mother of three other children, whom all had different fathers, was deemed emotionally disturbed. Because of her mother’s situation, Kruzan was emotionally and physically abused as a child, often witnessing her mother being abused by numerous “boyfriends,” some of which abused Sara as well. When Kruzan was four, her mother hit her so hard, blood spattered from her little nose onto a nearby dresser. She was often called names, such as ‘whore,’ ‘slut,’ and ‘worthless,’ and had hot tea and plates of food thrown on her. The exposure to molestation and sexual abuse in Kruzan’s life started early, and left a damaging effect on her from the time of its inception. At the age of five, Sara was left with a man named Bob Brown, who molested her, and at ten, while she was in bed; one of her mother’s boyfriends touched her inappropriately. After each incident, Kruzan reported them to her mother, in which her cries were left ignored. Her mother even showed signs of jealousy and accused Kruzan of attempting to steal her boyfriends from her.In spite of these initial encounters and the extreme physical abuse she experienced at the hands of her mother, Sara was a pleasant child. “She was really playful, jovial, friendly, smart and outgoing,” shared Sara’s aunt, Ms. Catherine-Anne Rogan. At the age of eleven, Kruzan was on the honor roll and won the Young Author’s award for writing a book on the effects of drug use, something she knew about all too well. Kruzan’s mother was addicted to cocaine and regularly used marijuana. Her father, an ex-convict, whom she encountered on only three occasions, used heroine, at one of these times witnessed by Kruzan. The abuse Sara suffered at the hands of her mother was so severe; at one point a petition was filed to remove her from her mother’s home. As Kruzan’s mother’s drug use continued, she lost her job as a hairdresser and was forced to move to a cheaper home outside of the Monrovia area into Rubidoux, which is in Riverside County. Their new home was nestled in a dangerous, poor and gang infested area. By the fourth grade, Sara became a cutter, using scissors to carve on her legs until she saw blood, and also became a runaway. When the pressure and stress became too much, Kruzan attempted suicide at the age of eleven. Clinical records showed that she was depressed and overwhelmed at the emotional demands and instability of her mother. While Sara had these issues, it was discovered that she was mirroring the behavior and thoughts of her mother who was clinically depressed and suicidal. Shortly after her attempted suicide, Kruzan was walking home from school, when she caught the eye of 31 year old George ‘G.G.’ Gilbert Howard, as he cruised the streets in his red Mustang. He questioned where she was going, and seduced her into the car with the promise of buying her ice cream and giving her a ride home. But en route, they stopped at a park, and then at his home. When they arrived at his residence, he left her in a room filled with erotic art and sculptures, while he went to change clothes, exposing her young impressionable mind to an entirely new level of sex. While at his home, he molested her telling her “Using you will be fantastic…. We will make lots of money.” After this encounter, G.G. became a staple in Kruzan’s life, capitalizing on her youth, vulnerability and poverty. He often treated Sara and her friends to outings at the roller rink, movies, money and trips to the mall. Kruzan’s young impressionable mind became impressed by his power, money and nice cars. According to the testimony of Ms. Tanja Gillam, G.G.’s custom Jaguar was so unusual that “if one were to see this car driving down the street, you would immediately notice the car,” she said. Over the course of time, G.G. began to gain trust with Kruzan and her mother, which afforded him the opportunity to spend more and more time alone with the eleven year old. He kept a close watch on her, often driving by her house to talk to her or having his limousine driver find her and pressure her to contact him. Rogan, recalls meeting G.G. while visiting at Sara’s home. “[Sara’s mother] only introduced him as a family friend,” she said. Later Rogan recalled getting a call from Sara, elated at the fact that G.G. had just gifted a gold bracelet to her. “I immediately said ‘put your mother on the phone.” Rogan, at that point, grilled her mother on allowing an older man to spend time with Kruzan. Her mother seemed passive and dismissed Rogan’s concerns as unimportant. As if matters hadn’t been bad enough in Sara’s life, at the age of twelve, her mother ‘enlisted’ one of the men with whom she smoked marijuana to act as Sara’s “mentor.” He was 23-year-old Roosevelt Carroll. Often this new found mentor would sneak Kruzan out of the house to a motel, after smoking with her mother, where he gave her and had frequent sex with her of a period of a year. When Kruzan turned 13, she was brutally raped by three gang members from her neighborhood, while taking a short cut through the school on her way to the market. Kruzan knew all three of the men that attacked her, one of which being an uncle of a friend of hers. After raping her on some concrete steps, they threw her ripped shorts on her and told her “You’re in the gang now. That’s how we do it.” Instead of pressing charges, her mother thought it best to relocate, fearing that the gang would retaliate. After yet another traumatic incident, Kruzan sought comfort in her mother, only to hear that Sara had probably asked for it. Traumatized and filled with shame, Kruzan attempted suicide. This was her second time. From 1989 to 1993, Kruzan was hospitalized twice at Charter Hospital and three times at Knollwood Hospital, all for attempted suicides. In the same year as the gang rape, G.G. decided to take his relationship with Kurzan to the next level. He convinced her that marriage was simply a legalized form of prostitution, and that in the end all men want is sex. This idea wasn’t too farfetched to Kruzan, since her life experiences contained numerous accounts of sexual exploitation. G.G.’s words seemed to normalize what she for so long had to continuously deal with. He was preparing her for a life in “the life,” known as prostitution. At his main house, G.G. showed her stacks of hundred dollar bills, jewelry and photographs of women next to cars, and said “These are my girls, my women.” A few weeks later, he took her to a motel to “teach her some things,” and had sex with her for the first time. G.G. was 6’4 and twice Kruzan’s size. After continuing to indoctrinate Sara through is actions, words, and with the help of some of his older prostitutes, she was ready for the streets. One evening G.G. paired Kruzan with an adult prostitute, dressed her in provocative clothing, and placed her on the streets in Hollywood and Orange County. Half of her first night was spent shadowing another prostitute, and the other half servicing 10-11 men. Kruzan was with G.G. off and on prostituting for a few years, but failed to find any stability at home or in the streets. She soon met the abusive side of him, and became void of emotion. But little did she know that G.G. represented the beginning of the worst injustice she had yet to experience. Child Sex Trafficking is devastating and is being combated on many levels in this country and around the world. The average age that victims are first sold for sex is between 12 and 14. The penalty for human trafficking in California is only three to eight years. Part two of Sara’s story will be continued in next week’s issue of the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint, with ways you can help fight child sex trafficking.
The Sara Kruzan Story - Part II
Sources: Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to Penal Code Section 1473.5 and to Redress Sentencing Error Pursuant to Penal Code Section 190.5; www.freesarakruzan.org www.caseact.org .
Chida Warren-Darby, Managing Editor