AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott agreed with a unanimous vote from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant a sex trafficking survivor a pardon.
News of the pardon for Robbie Ann Hamilton comes on Jan. 11, Human Trafficking Awareness Day in America.
“Hamilton has been a model member of society and has worked tirelessly to help other women,” said Natalie Nanasi, assistant professor and director of Legal Center for Victims at SMU Dedman School of Law.
Eight letters were written to the board in support of a full pardon, and no civilian or law enforcement agency submitted a letter opposing them.
Hamilton was lured into sex trafficking when she was around 15-years-old, which led her to commit crimes, but none of those involved hurting or putting someone else in danger.
But then her life turned around.
While in jail, she asked God to help her quit drugs and to get out of that life. After participating in groups like Alchoholics Anonymous and New Friends New Life in rehab, she turned it around, committing her life to helping homeless addicts.
She has also sponsored women through the 12 Step Program, speaking on addiction and sex trafficking.
“She is a testament to the principle that our lives are not defined by how we are challenged. Rather they are defined by how we respond to those challenges. Robbie demonstrated internal fortitude to turn her life away from being a victim of human and sex trafficking and toward a life of redemption and improving her community. Her example is to be applauded and replicated. As Governor of Texas, I hereby grant Robbie Ann Hamilton a full pardon consistent with the recommendation issued by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.”Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Abbott also lit the governor’s mansion blue on Saturday, in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Day.