Friday September 20, 2019
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Chrystul Kizer bail reduction and justice denied

By Lindsey Spietz |
September 11, 2019
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Kenosha, WI - When Cyntoia Brown’s case was brought forward to the media, there was a large public outcry for justice. How could a victim of human trafficking be imprisoned for killing her rapist and trafficker? Unfortunately, her case is not novel. Chrystul Kizer, a Milwaukee native, has been charged with multiple counts for defending herself against a sexual predator, Randall Volar III.

Only 17 years old at the time of the incident, Kizer’s case is incredibly similar to Cyntoia Brown’s. Even more concerning is the fact that they were young, Black teenagers, charged with killing older white males who had sexually assaulted them.

At the time of his death, Kizer’s perpetrator was under investigation for child pornography, sexual conduct with minors and human trafficking. Kizer's attorney, Carl Johnson, filed a motion to gain access to that evidence; evidence that includes explicit videos and photos of Kizer and other young girls.

Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. It involves coercion, power and control, and often physical and sexual violence. Over half of suspected victims of trafficking are Black women and girls. Brown and Kizer were both under the age of 18 when these incidents occurred.

Kizer’s most recent court hearing on September 6 at the Kenosha County Courthouse was a push by her defense team to reduce her unreasonably high $1 million bond. Her legal team argued once again that there was overwhelming evidence that Volar III was a rapist, pedophile and sex trafficker. They urged the court to consider that Chrystul was a victim, protecting herself against further harm.

Prosecuting attorney Gravely attacked Kizer’s prior felony record as well as condemning the defense’s strategy of using coercion due to human trafficking. Gravely felt that this would lead to a dangerous precedent, where “serial killers” could use this defense to get away with murdering many people.

Although Judge Wilk did not engage with Gravely’s arguments, he did deny Chrystul’s bond reduction, stating that she has “no ties to the community” as well as citing her past record.

Members of UW-Parkside Students for a Democratic Society in Kenosha have been fixtures at Chrystul's pre-trial hearings over the last several months. The result of this session was a hard one for all of her supporters to swallow.

“Knowing our criminal justice system, I fear the jury’s verdict," said Ethan Costello, a leader with SDS. "This system is not forgiving to Black and brown women, as it has always been for white men.”

Kizer will remain in prison until her trial in March 2020. A court hearing to discuss the defense’s use of Wisconsin State Statute will be held this November 15. Join her supporters and pack the courtroom to demand justice for Chrystul Kizer!

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