Related video above: Supporters call for release of woman accused of killing man she says trafficked her for sex
A Wisconsin woman charged with killing a man who she says was trafficking her for sex has been released on bond after nearly two years.
Chrystul Kizer, 19, of Milwaukee, posted a $400,000 bond Monday afternoon.
The money was raised by the Chicago Community Bond Fund and other groups.
“The police and government systems set up to protect Chrystul failed her. She has been wrongfully incarcerated in the Kenosha County Jail for nearly two years now for choosing to survive,” said Santera Matthews, an organizer with the Chrystul Kizer Defense Committee. “We are elated to know she will no longer be locked in a cage simply for wanting to live. We are proud to support Chrystul and will continue fighting by her side to ensure she can put this tragic incident behind her and begin to heal from trauma she has suffered at the hands of her abuser and the state that failed her.”
A judge reduced her $1 million bond to $400,000 in February.
“The constitution upholds the belief that people are innocent until proven guilty, she gets to now fight alongside her defense team,” Matthews said.
Kizer was in court earlier this month asking for it to be reduced to $15,000.
Prosecutors said Kizer was 17 years old in June 2018 when she fatally shot Randy Volar and then set his body on fire inside his home.
Kizer said she was acting in self-defense because Volar was trafficking her for sex and sexually abusing her.
“Now she’s being punished for surviving,” Matthews said. “To finally see her walk out of jail was just overwhelming, she was extremely happy, we were all just beside ourselves.”
Her defense attorney told a judge Kizer contracted the coronavirus in jail and worried about getting sick again.
“We were only able to pay Chrystul’s bond, a bond that large, because of the huge influx of donation that we’ve received over the last month after the police murders of Geroge Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other black residents in the country,” Chicago Community Bond Fund Director Sharlyn Grace said.
Kizer’s trial is scheduled to begin in September.
“I’m so excited for her that she gets to continue to fight beyond bars, but our personal goal is the DA can make this stop. He can make it all end right now,” Matthews said.
Prosecutors said they were preparing to charge Volar with child sex crimes at the time of his death.
Kizer’s attorneys are also appealing a previous court ruling that denied her actions fall under state law that clears sex trafficking victims of certain crimes.
The Kenosha County District Attorney said it was not appropriate to comment on a suspect being released on bail.