A Wisconsin court decided this week that a Milwaukee woman accused of killing a man who allegedly sexually molested her and other minor girls ( Chrystul Kizer ) is entitled to an appeal utilising a specific defense approach.
Chrystul Kizer, who was 17 when she allegedly murdered Randall Volar III and set fire to his home in 2018, may be able to invoke state legislation known as “affirmative defense,” which states that what she did was a “direct effect” of being a human trafficking victim.
Five charges were filed against Kizer, including first-degree intentional murder. She claimed Volar, 34, sexually attacked her when she was under the age of 18. Kizer, now 20, said she acted in self-defense in a 2019 Washington Post interview while still in jail.
“I didn’t set out to do this,” she explained.
Kizer was released from the Kenosha County Jail in June after the case caught the attention of community groups and celebrities, and supporters helped contribute $400,000 in bond, which was reduced from $1 million. Cyntoia Brown, who was convicted as a teenager of murdering a man she said had paid her for sex and was freed from jail in 2019 when then-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam reduced her life sentence, drew analogies to her circumstances.
Activists have also rallied around Kizer, claiming that her case exemplifies the criminal justice system’s failure to protect young victims of sexual assault and that state laws intended to assist such victims are being ignored, disproportionately affecting Black girls and women. The ruling of the appeals court in Kizer’s case had been delayed for almost a year.
Kizer said that she met Volar on Backpage, a now-defunct sex-advertising website and that he sold her to men for sex. Kizer told The Washington Post that when Volar refused to have sex on the night she was slain, he pinned her to the floor. Her lawyers claim she retaliated against him after years of abuse.
Kizer allegedly shot him in the head and set fire to his home before seizing his car, money, and laptop, according to police. According to a court complaint, she reportedly created a Facebook Live video and took a photo after the fire was started, saying she “wasn’t scared to murder again and making comparisons to a rich white guy.”
The primary prosecutor in Kizer’s case, District Attorney Michael Graveley, has claimed the teen’s actions were deliberate and that there is proof she premeditated his death and wanted to take his BMW. Kizer also “never suggested that she was trafficked by Volar,” according to prosecutors.
Authorities stated that they were working on a case against Volar before he died and that he had been detained and freed earlier. He is also accused of sexually assaulting other Black girls, according to video evidence.
The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment on the appeals court’s decision on Friday.