Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Friday that he has commuted the sentence of Alexis Martin — a sex trafficking survivor who was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison due to her involvement in a fatal shooting of her pimp. Martin was recently profiled by reality star Kim Kardashian West in a documentary that aired earlier this month.
During a press conference detailing the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, DeWine said he had granted seven commutation requests — mentioning Martin's case specifically and calling it "of particular interest."
"She is a child sex trafficking survivor," said DeWine. "She will be sent to an appropriate group home and she will be under supervision for an extensive period of time. The facts of her case are particularly, particularly unique."
Martin was 15 years old in 2013 when she and three adults planned to rob her pimp, Angelo Kerney, and burglarize his home, according to court documents. She did not shoot him, but was accused of distracting another victim during the crime, "with dancing and sex." Martin plead guilty to aggravated murder, as well as one count of felonious assault in adult court, after she was moved from juvenile court, according to the documents.
In 2018, Martin and her attorney made an argument that her history of sex trafficking was not properly explored by a juvenile judge during a hearing that determined if she should be charged as an adult, reports The Associated Press. However, her conviction was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Martin spoke about her case with Kardashian West in the Oxygen cable channel documentary, "Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project."
She told Kardashian West that she suffered sexual violence from the time she was a child. Martin said she was molested by her mother's husband while "growing up," and has been raped four times in her life.
She called meeting Kerney as a teenager the "turning point" in her life. Even though at the beginning Martin said she loved Kerney "like a dad," she said he raped her a year into their relationship. Kerney allegedly began sex trafficking Martin at 14 years old, according to the documentary.
Court documents from her appeal alleged that Martin said Kerney had her "perform exotic dances," as well as "sell drugs for him" and "prepare about eight other girls for prostitution."
"Everybody really failed her in her life and nobody really protected her when the system really could have," Kardashian West said in the documentary. "I mean, I couldn't even, I couldn't even imagine being in her situation and everything that she had been though."
The documentary also showed Kardashian West speaking with other incarcerated individuals, as well as meeting with policymakers and working with her legal team in an attempt to facilitate their release, reports Entertainment Tonight. While Kardashian West was able to successfully help free two of the inmates she advocated for, Martin was still waiting for the results of her clemency hearing when the show left off.
Kardashian West tweeted about DeWine's decision Friday to commute Martin's sentence, writing: "Alexis Martin is a sex traffic survivor and I was honored to be able to share her story on the Justice Project. Thank you Governor DeWine for commuting her sentence."
Kardashian West has been credited withfrom prison — most notably in 2018. Johnson, a grandmother in her 60s, was behind bars for 21 years. Kardashian West that she was preparing to take the bar exam in 2022 and become a lawyer.
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