A child sex trafficking survivor whose case was recently featured on Oxygen’s “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” was freed from jail Friday.
Alexis Martin, who was sentenced to prison at 17 for her role in the fatal shooting of her pimp during a robbery in 2013, had her sentence commuted by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
“She is a child sex trafficking survivor,” DeWine said Friday when he announced Martin was among a group of seven Ohio inmates he would free. “She will be sent to an appropriate group home and she will be under supervision for an extensive period of time.”
DeWine said Martin’s case was “of particular interest.”
Martin was 15 at the time of the slaying. Martin collaborated with a female friend and two men to rob the home of her pimp, Angelo Kerney, in Akron, Ohio, according to court documents. Though Martin was not accused of firing a gun, the documents state she and the other female distracted Kerney “with dancing and sex.” Kerney was killed in the shooting. Martin’s forced prostitution was cited as a factor leading to her involvement in the fatal shooting.
Martin pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and other charges and was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison.
In 2018, Martin appealed her sentence arguing her history as a sex trafficking victim was not properly explored by a juvenile judge during a hearing that determined if she should be charged as an adult. The court upheld her conviction in a 6-1 vote, the Associated Press reported.
Her story became a cause celebre among advocates of criminal justice reform, including Kardashian West, who has become a force in the world of criminal justice reform.
The Oxygen documentary revealed that while in prison, Martin earned her GED, became a certified dog trainer and ran a group for survivors of human trafficking.
Kardashian West tweeted about DeWine’s decision Friday, 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 advocated for the release of numerous inmates, most notably Alice Marie Johnson who was sent to prison for life in federal court in Tennessee in 1996 for attempted possession of cocaine and conspiracy to possess cocaine. Kardashian West persuaded President Donald Trump to commute Johnson’s sentence in 2018.