On Monday, 19-year-old Chrystul Kizer was released from custody after the Chicago Community Bond Fund announced that they had raised enough money to pay her bail. In 2018, Kizer was charged with murder for killing Randall P. Volar, III, who was abusing and sex trafficking her in Kenosha, Wisconsin when she was 16. Kizer’s case received national attention in recent months, despite the fact that she has spent two years in custody awaiting trial.
However, after her bail bond was lowered from $1 million to $400,000, the Chicago-based organization advocated to pay it off. Teaming up with the Chrystul Kizer Defense Committee, the Milwaukee Freedom Fund, and Survived & Punished, the Chicago Community Bond Fund stated in a press release on Twitter that they were able to pay Kizer’s bail after receiving an influx of donations spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement. It wasn’t confirmed if Kizer’s bail was paid because of those specific donations, but they detailed that all excess donations would go toward helping “establish a national bail fund for criminalized survivors of domestic and sexual violence under the direction of Survived & Punished and housed at the National Bail Fund Network.”
Criminalized trafficking survivor Chrystul Kizer has been incarcerated in the Kenosha County Jail for the last two years awaiting trial.
Today, we worked with the @FreeChrystul Defense Committee & the Milwaukee Freedom Fund to pay her $400,000 bond. https://t.co/L4XMROx2by
— Chicago Community Bond Fund (@ChiBondFund) June 22, 2020
Kizer’s bail had previously been set to $1 million before being dropped to $400,000 in February by Judge David Wilk in Kenosha. During that hearing, Kizer was also offered a plea deal where, if she pleaded guilty to Volar’s death, she would be charged with felony murder and armed robbery and sentenced to 43 years in prison. But she had stood her ground that she acted out of self-defense.
Kizer, a then 17-year-old victim of human trafficking who was being abused by Valor for at least a year, was first charged with first-degree murder and arson in addition to being in possession of a firearm. In June 2018, 34-year-old Valor was found shot and killed in his home in Kenosha, Wisconsin before his entire house went up in flames. Kizer allegedly posted a photo from Valor’s home in the hours before the arson and filmed a video of herself waving a gun three days later and alluding to this murder. When confronted by police, Kizer allegedly confessed and said that “she got upset and was tired of Volar touching her” and that she had shot him.
Following Kizer’s arrest, the Kenosha Police Department revealed that Valor had been on their radar since at least early 2018 due to his involvement in human trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls. Valor’s bank account with TCF Bank had been flagged multiple times in the past and his activity was brought to the attention of the Kenosha Police Department for possible “child pornography,” Kizer’s attorney had relayed to Judge David Wilk during the trial in October 2019.
Kizer had been receiving an outpouring of support from activists and celebrities including Alyssa Milano and former human trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown-Long. Now the Kizer has been set free on bail, The Chicago Community Bond Fund — along with other advocates — explained that they would continue to fight against convictions for survivors of human trafficking.
“This traumatized child, Chrystul Kizer, enticed and abused repeatedly by Randy Volar, will continue to suffer for the rest of her life. While Chrystul will never be able to erase what Mr. Volar did to her, she now has a fighting chance to assist in the preparation of her defense to these very serious charges from outside of a jail cell,” said Jennifer Bias, Trial Division Director at the Office of the State Public Defender.
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